Employment Part of rnib’s Starting out series



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Employment

Part of RNIB’s Starting out series



Contents


Introduction

Looking for work

Staying in your job

Being self-employed

Further information

We value your feedback



Introduction


As a blind or partially sighted person you may be worried that you will be unable to find work or stay in your current job, however there is help and support available from RNIB, other voluntary organisations and the government.
This guide has details of where you can find information and support to help you find work, stay in work or become self-employed.

Aidan’s story


“I’m registered as blind, and this was the result of an accident I had at work where I tripped and fell and banged my head, and I think optic nerve damage resulted.
The transition going back into work was hard. However, I had undertaken a course while I was off work with the RNIB, and I was given access to a whole range of equipment that allowed me to experiment with what was and was not possible, so I had quite a lot of confidence before going back.”

Looking for work


Whether you want to find a job for the first time or get back into employment, RNIB and Action for Blind People’s Employment Advisers can help.
Our advisers will be able to give you information about:

  • the benefits and concessions you could be entitled to whilst looking for work

  • job search skills

  • writing an effective CV and application form

  • making the best impression at interviews

  • overcoming barriers to employment, such as negative attitudes from potential employers

  • your rights when applying for a job and attending interviews
  • specialist vocational courses


  • pre-employment training, including the Adult Employment Programme at RNIB College Loughborough

  • getting work experience and how to apply for RNIB’s Trainee Grade Scheme

  • other organisations that can help.

If you are receiving benefits whilst you are unemployed, you can also contact your local Jobcentre and ask to speak to a Disability Employment Adviser (DEA). Your DEA can talk you through the government training, support and grant schemes that are available to help you get into work.



Pauline’s story


“I’m 59 years old and I’ve got juvenile macular degeneration which started when I was very young, and I’ve also developed cataracts and a vitreous detachment of the retina which involves lots of distortion, sparkles and refraction so it is difficult, not so much to get around, but more reading. The Disability Employment Adviser at the Jobcentre asked me if I’d like to enrol on an RNIB course to update my skills and then I actually got a Trainee Grade Scheme at the RNIB which lasted for 12 months. It helped me gain confidence and get the appropriate skills, and mainly how to fill in job application forms correctly. I applied for about three jobs, got an interview at the ASA where I am now and I got the job, and since then I’ve had a promotion.”

Staying in your job


If the right support is in place there is every chance that you could stay in work, even if it means doing things differently or taking on a different type of role.
Support is there to help you keep working and make the most of your experience, skills and knowledge.
RNIB and Action for Blind People’s Employment Advisers can give you information about:
  • how to tell your employer about your sight loss and how you can work with them to adapt how you work


  • your rights at work, including what reasonable adjustments your employer should put in place to help you continue to work and how to deal with any discrimination

  • the Government’s Access to Work scheme and how it can help to pay for equipment, adaptations, support workers and travel costs (if you’re unable to use public transport)

  • technology and products that can help, for example computer software that can make it easier to see what is on your screen or read aloud the information.



Being self-employed


Another option to consider is self-employment.
RNIB and Action for Blind People’s Employment Advisers can give you information about:

  • writing a business plan

  • the Government’s Access to Work scheme and how it can help to pay for equipment, adaptations, support workers and travel costs (if you’re unable to use public transport)

  • sources of funding for your business

  • benefits you can claim whilst setting up a new business •other organisations and networks that can help.



Further information

RNIB


All of our employment information is available online by visiting rnib.org.uk/employment
We also have a range of factsheets that are available in large print, braille, audio CD and via email. Our range of factsheets includes:

• Access to Work

• Looking for work

• Job seeking resources

• Self-employment

• Staying in work

Trainee Grade Scheme

• Your rights in employment under the Equality Act 2010.

You can also get employment advice and information by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or emailing helpline@rnib.org.uk


Action for Blind People – England only


Action for Blind People have a range of information online, which you can find by visiting actionforblindpeople.org.uk/employment

You can get in touch with an Employment Adviser by calling 0303 123 9999 or emailing employmentline@actionforblindpeople.org.uk



Government advice


The gov.uk website has lots of useful information about employment.

The website also has contact details for the centres that administer the Access to Work scheme. Visit gov.uk/looking-for-work-if-disabled



Sightline directory


The online directory to help you find the people, organisations and services you need. Visit sightlinedirectory.org.uk

Local societies


Local independent societies for blind and partially sighted people can provide various forms of advice and support. You can find the contact details for your local society from the Sightline directory or by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

About the Starting out series


The Starting out series aims to give people who are losing or have recently lost their sight essential information about living with sight loss. Other titles in the series are:

  • Benefits, concessions and registration

  • Education

  • Emotional support

  • Help from social services

  • Housing

  • Making the most of your sight



About the Confident living series

The Confident living series is for people who are losing or have recently lost their sight and are trying to build their confidence to continue to lead full and independent lives. Titles in the series are:


  • Leisure

  • Living safely

  • Managing your money

  • Reading

  • Shopping

  • Technology

  • Travel

All these booklets are available in audio, print and braille formats. To order please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 (all calls charged at local rate), email helpline@rnib.org.uk or visit rnib.org.uk/shop. For a full list of the information sources used in any of these titles please contact publishing@rnib.org.uk

If you or someone you know is living with sight loss, we’re here to help. Call RNIB’s Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email us at helpline@rnib.org.uk
Ask RNIB is the simple, easy to use way to find the answers to your questions online – try it today at rnib.org.uk/ask

We value your feedback


We would be interested to know where you received your copy of this publication or if you found there was any information that was missing, or if there is anything else you would like to tell us about the publication. If you would like to give us feedback, please email us at publishing@rnib.org.uk or send your feedback to the following address (there's no need to use a stamp):

FREEPOST RSCB-GJHJ-HLXG, RNIB Publishing, 105 Judd Street, London WC1H 9NE.


This publication is certified under the Information Standard Scheme.
© RNIB October 2013 Review date: October 2014

Registered charity number 226227 ISBN 978-1-4445-0138-4 PR12372P



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