Workshops to help over 200 job seekers, who are blind or partially sighted, to develop skills needed to gain or retain employment have been launched by sight loss charities RNIB and Action for Blind People, thanks to a £49,200 donation from the ScottishPower Foundation.
David Newbold, from RNIB and Action for Blind People, explains: “Finding work can be challenging for everyone, but if you experience sight loss, there are additional obstacles to overcome.
“With the funding from ScottishPower Foundation, we’ll help participants discover how they can adjust and adapt to losing their sight, allowing them to either continue working in the same field, or supporting them in deciding on a new career path. For some people, they may know exactly what they want to do, but just need help with accessing and applying for vacancies.”
There will be 27 workshops (13 in England; 14 in Scotland), providing training and support in:
preparing CVs and cover letters
help with job application forms
support with job searching
guidance on when and how to disclose sight loss to an employer
interview technique advice
Ann Loughrey, Trustee and Executive Officer, ScottishPower Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be funding these life-changing courses. ScottishPower Foundation is committed to removing barriers to employment. Technology, such as ‘talking computers’ (screen readers) and smartphones, mean sight loss shouldn’t prevent anyone from gaining or retaining meaningful work and advancing in careers.”
One person who is already benefiting from the workshops is Nadeem Ishaq, 42, from Golders Green. Unemployed for over 10-years after experiencing sight loss; Nadeem was recently taught how to use zoom-text, allowing him to read computer screens. He also received advice on presentation skills, helping him to gain voluntary roles at the Retail Trust and in RNIB fundraising.
Nadeem said: “Thanks to the workshop team’s guidance and understanding of my situation, I’ve been able to re-build my confidence, volunteer, and begin applying for paid jobs; all without any fear or hesitation.”
For further information about the RNIB and Action for Blind People employment workshops, contact:
England: 0800 440 2255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland: 0131 657 8200 or email Elscotland@rnib.org.uk