Employment support

RNIB Scotland supports blind and partially sighted people in finding work, and helps those already in work to retain their jobs.

Challenging misconceptions

Seventy three per cent of registered blind and partially sighted people of working age aren’t in employment. Alarming but hardly surprising, given surveys have found that many employers thought this group would be difficult or even impossible to employ.

But such attitudes are often based on misconceptions of what people with sight loss can do, and a lack of awareness of the help in place to meet any additional costs, such as the Government’s Access to Work scheme.

Who we help

  • for job-seekers, we offer skills assessment, vocational guidance and advice;
  • for employees, we support you and your employer to retain skills and experience in the same or an alternative job;
  • for employers, we advise on how best to support workers with sight loss, and provide information in alternative formats such as audio or braille.

What can we do to help?

RNIB Scotland supports blind and partially sighted people who are looking for work, starting work or want help to keep their job. We've developed different services in different towns throughout Scotland to help people in the ways they tell us they want.

Assessment towards employment

We use our employment assessment toolkit to help you assess where you are and the steps you need to take to get where you want to be. We can help you consider the practical barriers you might face and help you decide on a course of action.

Employment Hubs (supported by the ScottishPower Foundation)

Our Employment Hubs are places where you can go to look for work, learning or volunteering opportunities. At each hub, there are accessible PCs and staff available to support you. We want to run as many Hubs as we can, depending on the premises available and how many people want the service.  We currently run Hubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth. There will always be someone on hand to help you.

Pre-employment Courses (Supported by State Street Foundation and the Blindcraft Trust)

We run pre-employment courses for groups of people to discuss opportunities, job applications, interviews and CVs. These course give you a short spell of intensive support to boost your future plans.

Looking to the Future (Supported by the Big Lottery Fund)

Our pilot project runs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeenshire. If you are  between the ages of 15 and 25 and making the transition from school to college, university, training and employment, our Transitions Officers are there to support you. We work with individuals to agree the support you need and guide you through your transitions.

Work Choice

We work with Shaw Trust to deliver the Work Choice programme in many parts of Scotland. This allows us to support you starting work and provide a package of in-work support to help you settle in and sustain your employment. This service is individually designed to meet your needs and can only be accessed through your local Jobcentre Adviser.

Work Programme

We do not deliver the Work Programme in Scotland, but we can advise the organisations who deliver it, to help you get the best service.

Specialist Employability Support

Working with the Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford, we are delivering a Jobcentre programme to help people with complex employment support needs. Jobcentre advisers identify people who are excluded from the job market and we provide an individually tailored combination of guidance, learning in the workplace, work experience and training.

Workplace and Technology Consultancies

Our technology specialists advise people with sight loss and their employers on all aspects of using technology in employment, learning and daily living. We offer group and one-to-one training on a wide range of equipment and software, including

  • video magnifiers;
  • electronic reading aids;
  • magnification and screen-reader software;
  • computer systems;
  • notetakers;
  • braille technology.

Online Today

From banking and shopping to keeping in touch with friends and relatives, we know that technology can make everyone's lives easier, but knowing where to start isn't always easy when you've got sensory loss. 

We're helping people with sight loss gain and develop skills that allow them to use technology and the internet with confidence. So whether you need help with using your smartphone, setting up social media accounts, or simply browsing the internet – we're here to make sure you're getting the most out of it.

We'll be providing support in a number of ways, from home visits to one to one and group sessions, as well as nationwide workshops and events, so get in touch with the team on 0131 657 8204 or email onlinetodayscotland@rnib.org.uk to learn more.

Focus on Employability, Glasgow

Glasgow City Council funds specialist employability services targeted at reducing unemployment among blind and partially sighted people. This service provides training and assistance for unemployed people, employers and employment agency staff.

Focus on Employability, Aberdeenshire

Our team here engages with individuals of working age with sight loss within Aberdeenshire. We work with employers and other voluntary, public and private sector organisations to raise awareness of people with sight loss. We also provide skills assessment and job-seeking support to blind and partially sighted people to help them move into jobs or closer to the labour market.

Contact us:

By telephone: 0131 657 8200

By email: elscotland@rnib.org.uk

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