- Eye health and eye care
- Parents of Children with Vision Impairments
- Friends and Relatives
- Education professionals
- Health professionals
- Architects & Engineers
- Students and Researchers
- Ways you can assist a person with sight loss
- Best practice guides
Summary: If you have an employee with sight loss, find out more about how to ensure that they integrate successfully into the workplace. If one of your employees develops problems with their sight, there are steps you can take that can assist them in retaining their job.
Tips for induction training
Employees with sight loss need the same introduction to a job and initial training as sighted employees. You may need to consider some of the following simple adjustments to your induction training programme.
- Allow more time and greater flexibility for induction and training.
- Allow the person to organise their work area for greatest efficiency, even if it means organising it differently than in the past.
- Ensure that training material and job instructions are provided to the employee in their preferred format. This may be large print, Braille, audio, email or on disk prior to the training. NCBI’s media conversion service converts print into audio and Braille.
- You may need to assign a colleague to help a new employee to find their way around their work area initially and to assist in the event of an emergency evacuation.
- Employees with sight loss may need some help initially with familiarising themselves with the layout of the workplace. NCBI can offer orientation and mobility training to an employee to enable them to move around safely and independently in the workplace.
- Ensure that their colleagues are briefed on the adjustments, basic ‘disability etiquette’.
Find out more about meeting and greeting a person with sight loss.
Career development and performance management
- Provide the same opportunities for learning and taking on new challenges as for other employees.
- Assist the person to plan the next steps towards a successful career.
- Use the same criteria for promoting employees with sight loss as for others.
- Conduct performance appraisals, using the same criteria as with other employees.
- Deal with performance problems as you would for any other employee. If a performance problem arises, deal with it openly and do not assume that it is disability related. Do not avoid giving feedback. Employees with sight loss, as with all employees, want to know when they are performing well and when they need to do things differently.
- Review any adaptive equipment to ensure that it is still working well. Determine if it needs upgrading to keep the employee competitive.
If an existing employee develops sight loss, it is usually in your interest to retain them in your employment. You do not lose valuable skills and experience and avoid the cost of recruiting and training somebody else.
If they are experiencing difficulties in carrying out their job, there are three main options, which should be explored.
- What adjustments can be made to the job?
- Would a change to the workplace environment help?
- Can the employee benefit from further training or adjustments including technology or low vision aids to overcome their difficulties?
NCBI Employment Service
Our employment service provides advice to both employers and employees on application procedures, interviews and career advancement, as well as on what adaptations can be made to assist a person with sight loss in the workplace and the grants that are available.
Other services that you may find helpful are:
- Our technology service offers advice on a range of magnification and speech software to make information accessible.
- The NCBI library and media conversion service converts written material and textbooks into Braille and audio formats.
- We can also assist employees with sight loss to live independent lives by enabling them to carry out everyday tasks and move around safely and independently. See our mobility training service.
- Our community resource service aims to provide emotional and practical support to meet the individual needs of people living with sight loss.