RNIB launches Disability Confident Thematic Programme on vision impairment

Post date: 
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Employment campaigns
Disability Confident Leader logo, showing the words and four icons

We are pleased to launch a two-week thematic programme as part of the Disability Confident scheme. A wide range of resources will availabe to support employers in retaining and recruiting blind or partially sighted people to their organisation. 

From 19 March 2019, we will be hosting a wealth of resources on our website to show how easy it is for employers to access support to retain or recruit blind and partially sighted people to their organisations. Along with partners, our programme includes webinars, Q&A sessions, case studies, factsheets and videos on how businesses can be made more inclusive and accessible with some simple steps. 

Employers will also have the chance to win a free ‘Understanding Sight Loss’ course by taking our ‘Workplace accessibility health check’ to assess their level of understanding and knowledge of the reasonable adjustments a blind or partially sighted person might need to do their job. 

The latest employment figures were released (19 March) showing that employment has risen again. The current figure of 76.1% represents 32.7m people now in work - the highest since 1971 and unemployment now at a 44-year low now below 4%.  Yet the employment rate for working age blind and partially sighted people has become worse over the last 10 years from 1 in 3 in 2005 to only 1 in 4 in 2015. This means that only a quarter of blind people and partially sighted people of working age are in employment in comparison to three-quarters of the UK population.

A broad range of skills and talent are therefore not being used in the workplace, and with simple and readily available adjustments, more blind and partially sighted people could be in employment. Positive employer attitudes and supportive policies and practices can make a huge difference, and help employers benefit from a diverse and skilled workforce.  

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, said: 

My father’s blindness was a normal part of my family’s life and I have huge admiration for RNIB’s work. I am particularly proud to have them on board with Disability Confident. Far too many blind and partially sighted people are missing the opportunity to develop their talents and connect with the world of work. By working together with RNIB we will remove barriers and create the opportunities that blind and partially sighted people expect and deserve.

Our thematic programme follows the recent announcement of  our appointment as a Disability Confident Leader. The programme of resources will be shared with over 10,000 disabilty confident employers and you can get involved by sharing our programme or take our 'Workplace accessilbity health check'.