RNIB holds contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) prime contractors of the Work and Health Programme such as Reed in Partnership and Shaw Trust. These organisations have contracts directly with DWP which commit to specific outcomes for people looking for work, including securing employment.
As part of these projects, we support job seekers who have sight loss to build confidence through our Living with Sight Loss courses and help employees stay in work by giving them, and their employers, advice and support. We also support organisations to improve their accessibility and skills to support job seekers with sight loss.
Some of these contracts have clauses that are designed to ensure that projects are delivered to the highest standards and this includes protecting the reputation of those projects.
However, these clauses relate only to the way in which we deliver those projects, they in no way compromise our ability to publicly criticise or campaign against Government decisions and policies, or the behaviour of public bodies. In the past, there have been clauses within these contracts which could have been interpreted this way, however, we have now reviewed all contracts and insisted the clauses were changed or deleted so there was no ambiguity whatsoever that RNIB still maintains the right to campaign on issues that matter to blind and partially sighted people.
RNIB’s Policy and Campaigns team campaigns on key issues, for example; calling on the DWP to ensure the PIP process was fair and accessible, and stating our concerns about the rollout of Universal Credit.