Education to Employment – Vision Foundation

Education to Employment

Resources for school leavers, job seekers and employers.

A trio of people are standing outside a building chatting.

Raise your aspirations and practical knowhow

A white illustration of a magnifying glass on a dark blue backgroundYoung job seekers these resources tackle a range of topics such as Access to Work, career mentoring, confidence, wellbeing, guidance on how to identify and secure work placements and the importance of self-advocacy.

An illustration of two hands shaking on a blue backgroundEmployers wanting to take a step to being more inclusive can find helpful advice for the employment of blind and partially sighted people.

You’ll also find information on how to book one of our live awareness sessions where we tackle all the taboos of sight loss while giving you and your colleagues practical information about sight loss employment.

Writing your CV and getting ready for your first interview

In this film Jurgen Donaldson, recruitment expert, Naqi Rizvi, banker and Ussud Ali, student share their tips on standing out from the crowd, getting prepared for an interview and how/when to disclose your visual impairment.

Navigating Access to Work

In this film Jim Benstead, Assistive Technology Trainer and Consultant Callum Russell, Founder of Crystal Eyes and Thomas Norton, RNIB CYPF Support Officer create a better understanding of Access to Work as well as provide step by step guidance to accessing the grant. Callum and Charlotte (CEO of LOOK) give their personal insight into using the grant and how it has helped them thrive in their careers.

The speakers on this video also compiled a handy list of websites where you can find more information about the grant. The guide is available to read as a web page here. You can also download the guide as Word document.

 

Building your tech skills

In this film Ben Mustill-Rose, Software Engineer  at the BBC, Sidney May, Mentor Project Officer at LOOK UK , Matt Johnson, Data Privacy and IT Lawyer and John Paul Anderson founder of Senclude outline the importance of tech skills in finding work and highlight what skills are needed and when.

The speakers on this video also compiled a handy list of websites where you can get support with building your tech skills. The guide is available to read as a web page here. You can also download the guide as Word document.

Sidney May compiled a very handy list of keyboard shortcuts. The guide is available to read as a web page here. You can also download the guide as a Word document.

 

Work experience and volunteering

In this film Callum Russell, Founder of Crystal Eyes, Saima Akhtar, Employment Coach, Tara Chattaway, Head of Education at Thomas Pocklington Trust and Jess Clements from Blind in Business offer advice on where to find work experience. Reflecting on their own experiences they discuss self-advocacy skills and building confidence.

The speakers on this video also compiled a handy list of websites where you can look out for work experience vacancies and volunteer roles. The guide is available to read as we a web page here. You can also download the guide as Word document.

 

Disability placement schemes

In this film Steph Cutler, CEO of Making Lemonade, Elin Williams, Volunteer Development Coordinator at LOOK and Kevin Satizabal, Production Trainee at the BBC talk about the Disability Confident scheme and share their personal experiences of placement schemes and how it helped them find their ideal roles.

The speakers on this video also compiled a handy list of placement schemes. The guide is available to read as a web page here. You can also download the guide as Word document.

 

What is self-advocacy and how can it help you?

In this panel discussion Saima Akhtar, Employment Coach, Umar Kayani, Senior Software Engineer, Victoria Oruwari, Opera Singer and Michael Smith, Lawyer share how learning to self-advocate has helped them excel in their chosen careers. Peter White, BBC broadcaster, joins later in the film and shares his experience of making it in the world of broadcast radio.

 

Lucy Edwards and Chris McCausland in conversation

Vlogger and influencer Lucy Edwards kicked off Vision Foundation and LOOK’s youth employment conference with a fascinating introduction to stand-up comedian and actor, Chris McCausland.

Chris gave a humorous recount on how he got into comedy. He and Lucy reflected on how their visual impairment potentially opened doors and created opportunities which might have been out of their reach otherwise. Chris gave a poignant caution on the importance of adapting, and the ways in which he has needed to adapt to varying degrees, especially when working within a very visual world such as television. He stressed the importance of getting the right support at the right time and being armed with enough information to better understand and navigate different environments.

The above films and guides were collated at Vision Foundation and Look UK’s conference for young visually impaired people, held in March 2022.

The conference was first of it’s kind as it was solely designed for visually impaired young people. The whole day was about lived expertise and personal insight as well as professional advice. In fact we were thrilled that of our 27 speakers and contributors, 23 were visually impaired.  You can read a summary of the conference in this report, covering all the top tips and ‘take aways’ from the speakers.

Information and resources for workplaces

Get equipped and start your journey to becoming an inclusive employer with our factsheets and awareness session.

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Spotlight on Sight Loss: Accessibility in the Workplace

Book one of our live awareness sessions where we tackle all the taboos of sight loss while giving you and your colleagues practical information about sight loss employment.

Each session covers:

The challenges of sight loss employment.
Common misconceptions of sight loss.
Practical information about Access To Work and assistive technology.
Communication and guiding tips.

Email Louise Franklin, Head of Corporate Partnerships on lfranklin@visionfoundation.org.uk, to book a session for your company.

Information for Employers

To help organisations provide advice for the employment of blind and partially sighted people, we've created a set of useful factsheets.

Information for Employers (accessible format)

Why are we so passionate about employment?

Right now, more than 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss, causing a significant impact on their daily lives. Issues around employment represent one of the biggest barriers to equal participation, only 1 in 4 blind and partially sighted people of working age in employment, a figure that has worsened in the last decade.

The sight loss employment gap is a shocking 48%. Currently 75% of the general population are in employment, falling to 51% amongst the disabled population (excluding sight loss) and to 27% for people registered blind or partially sighted.

In order to better understand what factors contribute towards positive employment outcomes for blind and partially sighted people, we commissioned research from the University of Birmingham’s Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs.

In July 2021 we launched the report See My Skills, followed by the public campaign #SeeMySkills. #SeeMySkills sets out a roadmap to ensure that everyone, sighted or blind, has the chance to enjoy the independence, purpose and meaning that employment can bring. We identify the barriers, and how to knock them down.