‘Institutionalised discrimination’ is hindering employment of the blind

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article ‘Institutionalised discrimination’ is hindering employment of the blindOn 22 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today More than 90 per cent of UK employers may be breaking the law bydiscriminating against blind and partially-sighted jobseekers, according to theRoyal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB). In a report released last week, the RNIB said 92 per cent of employersbelieve it would be “difficult or impossible” to employ someone witha sight problem, contravening the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995. Despite 630,000 vacancies in the UK, three-quarters of blind andpartially-sighted people remain unemployed because of “institutionaliseddiscrimination” among employers, the RNIB said. Philippa Simkiss, assistant director for employment at the RNIB, said:”Ignorance and outdated attitudes are preventing blind andpartially-sighted people from getting into work. Employers’ attitudes need toundergo a sea-change to end this vicious circle of exclusion.” The situation hasn’t improved over the past 10 years, despite the DDA andgovernment schemes such as Access to Work, according to the RNIB report. It found that 37 per cent of employers are ignorant of the DDA, while thevast majority of small businesses (97 per cent) are unaware that the Act willapply to them from October this year. The RNIB has launched a campaign calling on employers to change their beliefthat people with sight problems are too difficult or expensive to employ. As part of the ‘Work Matters – Seeing the Potential of Workers with SightLoss’ campaign, the RNIB will host a series of events for employers, staff andthe general public to provide information and advice on the equipment,technology and services available to help people with sight problems at work. The RNIB is also calling on the Government to provide more funds for Accessto Work, and to promote the scheme more widely to ensure all businesses areaware of it. By Daniel Thomaslast_img

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