See My Skills: Breaking the cycle of unemployment for blind and partially sighted people
Blind and partially sighted people do the vast majority of the jobs that sighted people do. They might do them a little differently – using specialist technology or admin support – but they do them successfully.
Blind or partially sighted people work as politicians, journalists, lawyers, presenters, teachers, fundraisers, professors, artists, authors, actors, bankers, CEOs, entrepreneurs and chefs. But these success stories are far too few. In fact, if you’re a blind adult of working age in the UK, there is only a 1 in 4 chance that you’re working. That means that over 300,000 blind and partially sighted people are currently excluded from the workplace.
The pandemic has shown us that we can overhaul working norms overnight. Let’s extend that adaptability and create a level playing field for sight loss employment.
The See My Skills campaign 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.
A roadmap for change
We’re calling for a united response to address unemployment in the visually impaired community; to see skills not barriers. Through small changes in practice and attitudes, we know that together the public, private and charitable sectors can level the employment playing field for blind and partially sighted people.
We’re calling on policy makers to make improvements to Access to Work and Jobcentre Plus to better support blind and partially sighted people into employment.
We’re calling on businesses, big and small, to reduce employment barriers for blind and partially sighted people, by improving job application processes, increasing their understanding of visual impairment and providing awareness training in the workplace.
We’re calling on sight loss charities, including those that provide employment support, to work together to amplify successes and address gaps in evidence and service provision.