Employment Support for people with a visual impairment - Getting ready for work

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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 various other voluntary organisations and the government.

Blind or partially sighted people should not be excluded from employment – nor should sight loss equal job loss. Advances in technology mean that blind and partially sighted people can now overcome many of the barriers to work that they faced in the past, and government schemes like Access to Work mean that many of the costs can be met.

Here are twelve advice and support organisations who can help you find employment, or stay in work:

 

 

Modern Eyes

Modern Eyes is a not for profit organisation run by visually impaired people for visually impaired people.

Modern Eyes Training Services Ltd offers training support for Dolphin Guide and SupaNova computer programmes as well as Synaptic phones and tablets. We also are able to offer support on a selection of other products and if we can’t help you we can signpost to someone who can.

We always offer the first hour of training for FREE to enable us to discuss how we can support you in the best way and after that we charge an hourly rate of £25 for a formally arranged telephone training session where we will call you. Training sessions can be arranged at home at an additional cost. We also provide special offers for multiple bookings for savings. In addition, we are happy to work with other organisations, schools and colleges to train staff to use programmes. To discuss our training packages please do give us a call.

We also publish a bimonthly magazine full of useful hints and tips including recommendations on useful household goods to aid independent living, assistive technology and news relating to sight loss to help you keep informed. Our magazine is available in a variety of formats including email, as a large print, as an audio CD and we can also send as a Word attachment if required. Our magazine is FREE but we do gratefully receive donations.

Contact details:

Telephone: 01453 827389

Email: sue@modern-eyes.co.uk or info@modern-eyes.co.uk

Address: Modern Eyes Training Services Ltd, Merriefields College Ground, Ebley, Ryeford, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 2LO

Website: www.modern-eyes.co.uk

 

 

WITS (Wiltshire Independent Travel Support)

We are an award winning independent project offering initial travel support to individuals who would like to travel independently on public transport for work, to meet friends, for college or training.

A travel supporter will accompany the person on their journey until they become confident.
We can work on skills like planning a journey, road safety, telling the time, using money or a bus pass and help to build confidence.

The only cost to the individual are any bus or train fares although where possible we will assist people to apply for disabled person passes.

Many of the people who use the WITS project find that they not only become independent travelers but the skills and confidence they gain opens up further opportunities.

We help people who:

  • live in North Wiltshire, South Wiltshire, West Wiltshire or Kennet
  • have a physical or sensory impairment
  • have a learning difficulty
  • are users of mental health services
  • are older people

People can refer themselves or be referred by other organisations.

Contact details:

Telephone: 01380 871800

Email: peternorth.wsun@btconnect.com

Address: WITS Co-ordinator, Wiltshire Independent Travel Support, The Independent Living Centre, St. Georges Road, Semington, BA14 6JQ

Website: www.wsun.co.uk/wits/

 

 

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Job Centre Plus dedicated customer Work Coach for all customers on ESA, JSA, IS & UC. Working closely with customer for a tailored approach to becoming work ready by referring customer to relevant/appropriate provision that JCP has available i.e. Work experience, work academies, training courses.

Contact details:

Telephone: 0800 055 6688

Website: www.gov.uk

 

 

Community Connecting - Wiltshire Council Service

Assists customers to find out more about their local community and how they can access some of the following: Finding voluntary work, socialising, meeting friends or joining a club, further education; including college courses and other training opportunities, using their community facilities to do things that they enjoy, Traineeships, travel training They provide a time limited service; with the aim of working with the customer so they are able to find, take part in their chosen community activity and to do this independently. Access through Adult Social Care. There is an eligibility criteria for this service and in all cases approval is required before making the referral

Contact details:

Telephone: 0300 456 0111

Email: west.cc@wiltshire.gov.uk

Website: www.yourcareyoursupportwiltshire.org.uk/health-and-social-care/community-connecting.aspx

 

 

Steps to Stride Programme - Wiltshire Council

The Wiltshire Steps2Strides project is funded by the Department for Work and Pension's Flexible Support Fund and Wiltshire Council. The project is delivered by Wiltshire Council in partnership with The Pluss Organisation and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Wiltshire Steps2Strides is an initiative to support people in their personal development, individual resilience and help them start thinking about work.

Contact details:

Telephone: 01225 718425 or 01225-716890

Email: claire.pearce@wiltshire.gov.uk

Website: www.pluss.org.uk/locations/chippenham-employment-services

 

 

JCP (Jobcentre Plus) Careers Advice

National Careers Service advisers can help clients identify the job or career that's right for them and then plan how to get there. Help includes: finding learning & training, updating a CV and finding course funding. National Careers Service advisers visit the jobcentre weekly.

Telephone: 01225 718425

Website: www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

 

 

Skills2Succeed Academy

The Skills to Succeed Academy is a free, interactive, on-line training programme designed specifically to help young people choose the right career and build the skills they need to find and keep a job. It's easy to use, offering flexible training and relevant advice. The Academy includes 3 courses: Getting a Job, You and Your Career and Success in Work.

Website: www.s2sacademy.com

 

 

Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trust and Jobcentre Plus have a shared purpose: to increase the number of young people moving into employment or self-employment with the skills required to make those opportunities sustainable. The Prince's Trust programmes are primarily aimed at unemployed young people aged between 16-30 years old and consists of the following programmes: Get Started, Get Into Youth Work, Team, The Enterprise Programme, and Fairbridge

Telephone: 0800 842 842

Website: www.princes-trust.org.uk

 

 

Volunteering

Volunteer Connect Wiltshire with Community First

Use Volunteer Connect to search for volunteer roles available in Wiltshire.   

Costs of volunteering: DWP Jobcentre Plus cannot pay travel and childcare costs associated with volunteering, or the cost of CRB checks required for a placement. These costs are the responsibility of the volunteering organisation.

Affects of volunteering on benefits and forms: Benefit will not be affected but the customer must complete a form VOLWORK1JP giving details of their volunteering, to be returned to the jobcentre and filed in the customer LMU

Telephone: Community First on 01380 722475

Website: https://vcconnectsystem.org.uk/ChippenhamVMS2/VolunteerOpportunities/OpportunitySearch

Also look at the Do It Trust a national source of volunteering opportunities, and VInspired a National Source of youth volunteering opportunities.

 

 

Wiltshire Sight

Information pack available via post.

Peer support groups working across Wiltshire and Swindon providing advice, information and support.

Volunteering opportunities offered both at Wiltshire Sight and specially trained organisations.

One to one support including help with forms.

Resource and Information Centre open 10am -3pm Monday to Friday (other hours by appointment)

Telephone: 01380 723682 (Helpline open 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday)

Email: info@wiltshiresight.org

Address: St Lucy’s Sight Centre, Browfort, Bath Road, Devizes, SN10 2AT

Website www.wiltshiresight.org

 

 

Aspire Instruct Ability

InstructAbility is a multi-award winning bespoke programme designed to engage disabled people in the fitness industry as gym instructors and gym users. The scheme provides disabled people with free, accessible fitness industry training and qualifications followed by a voluntary industry work placement where instructors work to encourage more disabled people in the local community to participate in fitness activities. InstructAbility is funded by Sport England and offers disabled people free gym instructor training and an industry work placement. The aim of the scheme, created by Aspire, the spinal injury charity and delivered in partnership with YMCAfit, is to support disabled people into a fitness career where they can encourage other disabled people to access leisure facilities and enjoy an active lifestyle.

Telephone: 07407 532197

Email: instructability1@aspire.org.uk

Website: www.aspire.org.uk

Website: www.instructability.org.uk

 

 

Action / RNIB Employment Services

On 1 April 2017, Action for Blind People merged with RNIB. This allows us to help more blind and partially sighted people by combining our services, knowledge and expertise within one charity. Action’s vital work will continue through RNIB. We can provide specialist support and advice to help you prepare for employment, where to look, applying and interview techniques.  We can also give advice on starting your own business and staying in work if you are losing your sight.

Contact details:

Telephone: RNIB Employment Line: 0800 440 255

Email: employmentline@rnib.org.uk

Website: www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living/work-and-employment

 

 

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Page updated 15th May 2018