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RNIB responds to Government guidance on safe workplaces and services

RNIB shares its view on updated Government guidance regarding how businesses can work safely with easing coronavirus restrictions.

Image: A pink circle with two white footprints, under which it reads 'Keep safe and keep your distance'

Our response to updated Government guidance recommends improved consideration for blind and partially sighted staff, volunteers, customers and contractors. The guidance covers different types of work settings, and has been produced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

We’ve made clear that businesses need to consider accessibility in every step of planning and providing services. This includes making reasonable adjustments to policies and practices, in conversation with staff and customers who need them.

Our recommendations include specific examples of the kind of adjustments blind and partially sighted people need, based on feedback from our Sight Loss Advice Service. For example, concerns over the use of queue markers and one-way systems, sighted guiding support, and changes made to work practices without thought being given to any reasonable adjustments needed.

Sarah Lambert, Head of Social Change, said:

Blind and partially sighted people, and disabled people more widely, should be at the core of business planning as both employees and customers – not considered as 'exceptions'. Our recommendations would mean businesses are far more likely to meet their Equality Act duties to provide an equitable level of service, so as society ‘builds back better’ after coronavirus, it does so inclusively and fairly.

The Government guidance by BEIS and DCMS is available on GOV.UK.