Firstly, happy UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).
This year’s theme is ‘Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World’.
So what better day to announce that Dave and I (Vicky) as VIDA Training, along with a colleague, Gary Eady of Gary Eady Computer Training, are proud to be leading Phase 2 of TAVIP’s (Technology Association of Visually Impaired People) Inclusive Employment Project, developing a training and mentoring programme to support people with vision impairments into employment.
With the alarming statistic that three quarters of blind people of working age are unemployed, we are very aware that things need to change.
This phase of the project is focussing on the development of a training and mentoring programme specifically for people with vision impairments and provide them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be better placed to secure employment. Last year TAVIP, formerly British Computer Association of the Blind (BCAB), carried out phase one of the project that consisted of a survey that was circulated to vision impaired people as an exercise to establish what their experiences were with finding work, retaining work and what support was missing.
Building on the results from phase one of the project and to ensure we build this training and mentoring programme to be as effective as possible for blind and partially sighted people, we would like to find out what the current employment and technology experiences are of people with vision impairments.
We would therefore really appreciate it if you would answer the following questions either by adding a comment to this post or, if you prefer, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. If you are currently working, what is your role and which software packages do you use? For example, I am an Administrator who uses JAWS in conjunction with Microsoft word and excel.
2. Have you received specific IT Training? If so, what was this for and who provided it? Was it helpful?
3. Who or where do you turn to for additional support regarding technology?
4. Who or where do you turn to for additional support relating to work issues?
Going forwards, we recognise that this is a two way street and that employers need to also be involved in this process if things are going to change. For example, one of the main problems raised by people answering TAVIP’s initial survey was about the lack of accessibility of in-house technologies.
To help employer’s begin to understand and appreciate the problems that people with vision impairments (and other disabilities) face, and to make a start on being more open and inclusive around disabilities, we thought we would share some great resources and webinars. These are:
Microlink have produced a free guide, providing links to a range of resources and tools to test the accessibility of your websites and mobile platforms for disabled people. Find out more on the Microlink website.
There are also a range of webinars available to employers, all designed to provide practical help and support on a range of key disability employment topics - https://doitprofiler.com/disabilityconfident-webinars
The gov.uk website also has information about how your organisation can be more inclusive by being part of the Disability’ Confident Employment Scheme - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign
And obviously, we at VIDA Training can also provide Awareness Training and Consultancy services to any organisations and businesses.
What is clear is that to achieve the aim of ‘a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable world’ we really do all need to work together.
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? We provide professional, bespoke Vision Impairment and Disability Training, Consultancy and Employment Services. Please contact us for further information.
Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.