Blind in Business (BiB) is a national charity that works to support blind and partially sighted young people into employment. We work with approx. 140 people each year, ranging from students interested in degree apprenticeships to university students and graduates supporting them into internships, graduate jobs and graduate schemes.
Over the last 30 years, BiB has worked to bridge the gap between education and employment to ensure blind and partially sighted students and graduates get into their careers of choice. Throughout the years, advances in accessibility technology and employer attitudes have come far, however, there are still barriers into employment that visually impaired candidates face.
What are some of the barriers?
Inaccessible recruitment processes
Although recruitment processes vary from employer to employer, many graduate schemes and internships include psychometric tests and recorded interviews as part of their assessments. These tests can include visual content such as questions coming up on the screen or a countdown timer showing how long an applicant has left to answer. For candidates with a visual impairment taking part, these are not always accessible.
How BiB works to overcome inaccessible recruitment processes
We work one on one with each candidate to offer support when it comes to disclosure, reasonable adjustments, and navigating the job market.
We can advise candidates on the different reasonable adjustments available and are also able to speak with employers to ensure they are running a fully accessible recruitment process. In the recruitment process, there are always alternative ways for inaccessible tests to be carried out.
Lack of confidence and self-advocacy
At university, students have a network of contacts such as disability and careers advisors to ensure their support is in place. After university, graduates no longer have this support and must navigate the job market independently when it comes to requesting reasonable adjustments. A lack of confidence or uneasiness to request adjustments puts candidates at a disadvantage as they cannot compete on a fair playing field.
How BiB works to overcome lack of confidence
We run numerous events to raise aspirations and confidence when it comes to getting into employment.
We run employer insight days in various industries for students and graduates. This includes hearing from employees within different departments and taking part in mock interviews and assessment centre activities with the company’s talent acquisition team. This gives candidates an understanding of the various roles available as well as experience of what interviews and assessment centres are like. Having a dry run means candidates know what reasonable adjustments they will need so when it comes to the real thing, they are confident and prepared.
Work with Universities
We work to establish strong links with university careers and disability staff to ensure that visually impaired students get tailored employment support.
We offer, free of charge, the following workshops at universities:
One to One Appointments
We can run one to one appointments for visually impaired students & graduates. This is a 20 minute informal discussion with individual students to find out how we may be of support.
Visually Prepared Workshop
This is an interactive workshop with topics such as disclosure, reasonable adjustments, access to work all covered as well as discussions around barriers into employment and breaking these down.
Staff Lunch and Learn
A session for careers and disability staff, discussing the support we provide, the events we run as well as a discussion around barriers and removing these.
Blind in Business exists to support blind and partially sighted young people into employment. Nearing our 30-year anniversary, we are excited to work closely with universities to host and run events for students and graduates.
If you would like to find out more about the work we do please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org