A new training partnership to help jobcentre staff better support Universal Credit claimants who are blind or have visual impairments has been launched across the UK.
Described has ‘groundbreaking’, all Jobcentre Plus (JCP) staff will now be able to access new training through an online portal, which offers information and advice to better support people with sight loss to find a job that’s right for them.
The Department for Work and Pensions has worked with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to establish the scheme.
In addition, some jobcentres will also be kitted out with virtual reality headsets designed by RNIB, that when used with an RNIB app mean JCP staff can experience what it feels like to have sight loss.
Minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, said: “Sight loss affects two million people in the UK, so it’s vital that our staff understand the specific challenges visually impaired people can face when seeking work.”
Adding: “That’s why we’ve collaborated with RNIB to create learning that will help our staff better support visually impaired people to move into and thrive in work.”
Launched to coincide with National Eye Health Week (23 to 29 September 2019), the interactive training modules will help staff to understand sight loss and the effect that it can have on claimants’ lives.
The training looks at the causes of sight loss, barriers faced by those with first-hand experience of visual impairment and the best ways to support people through their Universal Credit journey.
It also offers practical advice around guiding people with sight loss.