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Workplace Assessments for Employees with Sight Loss and Visual Impairment

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“I was really anxious about having a workplace assessment but you put me at ease and your consultant was very knowledgeable. Thank you for the adjustments you have recommended, they are making my working life so much easier.”

Sight loss is indiscriminate and it can happen to anyone at anytime or stage in their life. You probably may not already know this, but every 6 minutes someone in the UK starts to lose their sight, so the chances are, some of your valued employees could be struggling with sight loss.  Here’s just a few of  some of the most recognisable signs:

  • Becoming clumsy
  • Finding the computer screen difficult to see
  • Eye fatigue or pain
  • Difficulty in recognising colleagues
  • Struggling to get around the office, shop floor or workplace environment
  • Discomfort with bright lights
  • Finding print and handwritten documents difficult to read
  • Experiencing migraines, headaches and overall tiredness
  • Finding it difficult in dark or dim environments
  • Finding it difficult judging depth

This is a common situation as most employees are unaware of the practical and specialist solutions that are available. Unfortunately they struggle on and do their best to conceal the fact that they can’t see as well as they used to which often leads to anxiety, sickness absence, frustration and reduced performance.

The solution is to carry out a specialist workplace assessment to ascertain the challenges your employee is facing and how best to overcome them.

Employee using text to speech software using headphones and magnified text

What is a Visual Impairment Workplace Assessment?

A work-based assessment from one of our specialist consultants will have the following objectives:

  • To identify the issues that an employee is facing as a result of their visual impairment and suggest a range of potential solutions.
  • To identify any specialist aids, resources and equipment an employee requires to carry out their range of duties effectively.
  • Identify any training needs relating to the recommended equipment.
  • Identification of environmental factors in the workplace that impact on the employee such as lighting,  signage, etc.
  • Identify non-physical reasonable adjustments including flexible working, additional breaks and the administration of medication.
  • Identification of factors affecting an employee’s mobility to, from and within work.
  • Identify any additional services that are necessary for the adjustments to be effective, for example, configuration and scripting of assistive technology software.
  • Identify any additional services that may be beneficial; for example, a functional low-vision assessment,  referral to social services or sight loss charities.
  • Identify any requirement for a human support worker, where all other adjustments have been considered.
  • Identify adjustments to working practices to meet employee needs, where all other adjustments have been considered.
  • Identify any other rehabilitation or work-related training needs if required.
  • Offer information and raise awareness of other provisions that may be useful to the employee or employer.
  • To identify support that the employee may require at home which may impact on their working performance.
  • To identify any emotional support and coping strategies the employee may benefit from.

The assessment  recommendations will be presented in a detailed employee-centred report, which identifies the work-related issues they are facing as a result of their sight loss and advises on what solutions could be put in place.

Employee with visual impairment in a meeting using assistive technology to read a document

Why and when should I commission a Workplace Assessment?

As a responsible employer, you’ll want to ensure that all your staff feel supported valued and have the opportunity to maximise their productivity,  As well as being  fully  compliant with your duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. Bear in mind that the majority of people with a visual impairment work around their issues and are not aware of the resources and workplace adjustments that are available

Therefore, we recommend that you commission a work-based assessment before a person with a visual impairment commences their role with you and for an existing employee  who may have a deteriorating existing  condition  or someone who may acquire an eye condition, through illness, infection, hereditary or injury.

This video explains why commissioning a workplace assessment is so important…

Workplace Adjustment Procedure

A referral form will be sent to the employer or occupational health provider to ascertain the employee’s contact details, duties and reason for referral. On receipt of the completed referral form, a workplace adjustments assessment will be arranged with the employee who is experiencing difficulties with their vision; this will be as follows:

  • Our consultant will be assigned the referral.
  • An assessment appointment will be arranged within three working days of initial receipt of referral.
  • Upon agreeing a convenient date with the employee, the consultant will attend the employee’s place of work to establish the difficulties they are facing.
  • The consultant will assess the duties the employee carries out and recommendations will be discussed to enable them to carry out their job more effectively.
  • Upon completion of the assessment, the report will be submitted within 14 days to the employer/occupational health provider
Magnification software which blows up text from a book and displays in an accessible format on a screen

Costs and Booking Information

The cost of the work based assessment and recommended actions report is £795 plus expenses.  VAT is not applicable

For information, advice or to book a Visual Impairment Workplace Assessment, please email Daniel Williams at or call on 07472305268.

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