Working as a vision impaired person
My name is Elin and I am a 19 year old beauty, lifestyle and disability blogger based in the UK. I am registered blind/severely sight impaired and the aim of my blog is to raise awareness of vision impairment and disability in the hope of tackling the stigma that surrounds it.
I recently came to the end of my first year of work so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my experience with you by reflecting on my feelings of working as a vision impaired person.
I completed my A level studies in June 2016 and a few months prior to this I was very unsure about what the next year would entail for me but I came across a job advertisement by the RNIB, they were recruiting for a Trainee Community development assistant based in another charity near to where I live. I applied for the role not expecting anything to come of it but to my surprise I was called for an interview and was later offered the job.
The recruitment process was fairly simple and I received a lot of support from my line manager at the charity I was based in to which I was very grateful for. Evidently, preparing to start a new job as a vision impaired person can seem to be a longer and more tiring process since a few adjustments need to be made, one of the longest processes in my opinion was applying for Access to work which is a goverment funded scheme that offers support in the workplace for disabled people.
My details and support needs were assessed over the phone by the department of work and pensions and a few weeks later I had a technology based assessment in my place of work to discuss which technology/software I would require to carry out my role. I did stumble upon a few barriers during the process including the technology I needed not being provided and struggling to explain that I needed a taxi from my home to my workplace due to the public transport links not being very near to where I live and also not being confident enough to use public transport at this time but I was finally given the support I required after a number of weeks of constant phone calls and writing letters to fully explain my needs.
The people that I worked with were lovely and supportive so I instantly felt at ease in my role. Some of my duties as a Trainee community development assistant included helping to arrange social groups, writing a quarterly newsletter, covering on reception and much more and I enjoyed doing most of the duties I was asked to complete. As the support I needed was provided I believe that it was much easier for me to carry out my role, it would’ve been much harder to do so without this support being there. Every adjustment I wanted/needed was made, all I had to do was ask.
I can’t deny that it did get hard at times as I struggled with the deterioration in my vision, it made completing certain tasks harder and it took longer than it would to a fully sighted person but there was always an alternative way.
As it was a trainee grade scheme, my contract only lasted 50 weeks and it went by so quickly but I am lucky to have had the experience and it definitely gave me a great insight into the world of work and provided me with a great experience which I really did enjoy.
Scope's new campaign Work With Me aims to support more disabled people to get into and stay in work. Take a look at the campaign and if you have any questions, you can ask our employment advisors on the community.
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