Extending the Reach

Extending the Reach is an exciting new project supported by BIG Lottery allowing RNIB to build on our successful Trainee Grade Scheme (TGS). Extending the Reach offers employers the chance to recruit a blind or partially sighted person whose skills and experience have been carefully matched to a role.

About Extending the Reach

Blind and partially sighted people gain valuable work experience, on the job training and development, as well as support to secure permanent employment. Placements are for 50 weeks and a minimum of 21 hours a week. All placements are paid, and through Big Lottery funding, RNIB are able to cover the cost of this training and support allowance on behalf of employers.

The project is for 4 years, and it has started with our first beneficiaries already in post! What are you waiting for?


Research shows that a lack of experience is a key reason behind the low employment rate of people with sight loss, with almost 70 per cent of blind and partially sighted people not in employment.

There are many blind and partially sighted people who would like to use their skills to gain employment. By opening up an opportunity to a person with sight loss you can help provide valuable work experience to someone from this group.

Advances in technology mean that many computers, laptops and mobile phones now come with accessible technology build in. This means that people with sight loss can overcome many of the barriers to work that they may have faced in the past.

By employing a blind or partially sighted person through RNIB's Extending the Reach (EtR) programme you can demonstrate your commitment to equality, feel confident in employing people with sight loss and recruit an excellent member of staff who will have a brighter chance of securing long term employment.

The programme

All placements are part time, at 21 hours per week, and are for a duration of 50 weeks. In return for offering a placement to someone through EtR, RNIB can:

  • Provide you with free advice about supporting someone with sight loss, including a work-based assessment to recommend adjustments and equipment that may be beneficial to your new employee.
  • Help you access government grants that can cover the cost of equipment that an employee may need such as magnification software for their computer.
  • Provide visual awareness training for colleagues and staff to build confidence in working with someone with sight loss. Government grants may be able to cover the cost of this training.
  • Cover the cost of their training and support allowance during their work experience. We ask that you make a contribution of just £200 per month towards the programme.

Offer a placement now!

Due to the huge response received, all places on EtR are filled at the moment, however as participants progress to permanent employment more opportunities may become available. We are always interested in partnering with organisations that want to support people with sight loss into employment so please do still get in touch: