Minister of state for disabled people, health and work, Penny Mordaunt visited RNIB’S Edinburgh headquarters this week to discuss how blind and partially sighted people can overcome employer misperceptions in the workplace.
During her visit, Mordaunt met clients and staff at Café Tiki in the RNIB building, where half of its employees have sight loss.
She said: ‘Disabled people can face disadvantage in the labour market, despite having valuable skills and talents to offer. Our disability confident campaign is encouraging employers to recognise the benefits disabled people bring to the workplace, while our access to work scheme is helping to fund practical support. Employers now have no excuse not to wake up to the vast talent pool that disabled people represent.’
There are around 8,500 blind and partially sighted people of working age in Scotland.
RNIB Scotland director Campbell Chalmers said: ‘While the employment rate of those with disabilities generally continues to increase, the rate for people with sight loss has remained at around 29%, compared with 76% for the general population.’
Each year, RNIB Scotland supports around 500 blind and partially sighted jobseekers.
Both Mordaunt and RNIB will attend the Rehab International World Congress in Edinburgh, which runs from October 25- 27. Over 1,000 delegates and speakers from over 60 countries are expected to attend.
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