Marie Clarkson from RNIB has written a guest blog which discusses the benefits of the Visibly Better Employer quality standard.
RNIB have supported organisations including Tesco, BT, HMRC, Worldline, and a wide range of other employers across different sectors including banking, civil service, marketing and events, education, third sector, legal, customer service and retail, to become a more inclusive employer for people with sight loss through aligning their working practices to our Visibly Better Employer quality standard.
A frequent challenge which we support employers to address is website accessibility, specifically the accessibility of their career webpages in which they advertise their job vacancies. Currently many websites are developed with accessibility barriers that make them difficult for blind and partially sighted people to use. However, this shouldn’t be the case; when websites are properly designed, people with sight loss can use them.
Through our Visibly Better Employer quality standard, we carry out a ‘Visibly Better Review’ of an organisations careers webpage which is intended as a concise but limited analysis of website accessibility to identify issues that impact blind and partially sighted people. A Visibly Better Review involves testing web pages against a limited set of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) level AA and we can provide employers with our findings and make recommendations, if necessary, to enable them to improve accessibility.
Employers who advertise their vacancies on jobsites and publications which are accessible, will attract more blind and partially sighted talent to apply for opportunities within their organisation and increase the diversity of their workforce.
The employment rate for blind and partially sighted people is unacceptably low with only one in four people with sight loss of working age are in employment. There are currently 11,000 people with sight loss in the UK who are actively seeking work and many people also leave work unnecessarily each year due to sight loss. By becoming ‘Visibly Better’ our aim is that employers will see an increase in the number of blind and partially sighted people who apply for their job opportunities, and they are able to confidently retain existing staff who develop sight loss.
RNIB are continuing to support employers from across a range of employment sectors in working towards achieving the standard and we welcome the opportunity to work with even more employers. To find out more, email the RNIB Employment Team at: VisiblyBetterEmployer@rnib.org.uk or click here.
This blog post was written by Marie Clarkson, Employment Manager at RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). Marie has over 20 years experience within the recruitment and pre-employment sector and has been with the RNIB since 2015, working on various projects. Marie currently leads the Visibly Better Employer quality standard supporting employers to improve their recruitment and working practices for employees with sight loss. This blog was originally posted on 2 January 2024.