Enquiry explores employers’ attitudes to visually impaired employees

Posted: Tuesday 05 March 2024
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The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment has launched an enquiry to find out more about how employers treat and hire blind and partially sighted people.

With only one in four registered blind and partially sighted individuals of working age currently employed, the enquiry aims to address existing barriers in the workplace.

Commissioned by the APPG in November 2023, a poll conducted by YouGov highlighted concerning findings, including that nearly half of surveyed businesses lacked accessible recruitment processes.

The findings showed a significant portion (47%) were unaware of available funding to support blind or partially sighted employees, such as the government’s Access to Work Scheme. A quarter of respondents admitted unwillingness to make necessary workplace adaptations for employing blind or partially sighted individuals.

Colin Daniels, the manager of the Macular Society’s Working Age and Young People’s service, emphasised the significant contributions visually impaired individuals make to the workplace. He said: “Visually impaired people bring valuable skills, perspectives, and resilience to the workplace.

“We must work with employers to address the negative perceptions help, as well as overcome the practical barriers preventing  visually impaired people from finding suitable work.”

The six-week enquiry will gather written submissions and hold meetings in Parliament where people can share their experiences. Two members of the Macular Society's employment therapy group, are among those who have previously given evidence to the APPG. 

A detailed report will be also be made with suggestions on how the government, employers, and others can make workplaces more inclusive.

The APPG welcomes input from businesses, individuals, charities, and groups and wants to hear anything from first-hand experiences to thoughts on government support and laws.

Submissions need to be made by March 15, 2024

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