I’m a Line Manager. How should I support my staff member with sight loss?

As a manager, you play an important part when it comes to the support given to your team and other colleagues.

If you are comfortable talking about disability and understand what support to provide as a Line Manager then your team will have a much better experience, which will in turn lead to more productive working.

There are some adjustments which may be needed to improve the everyday work experience for a colleague with sight loss.

To avoid making assumptions it's best to discuss the impact of a colleague's visual impairment directly with them, but some areas you may like to consider are:

  • You are more likely to make better decisions by involving your colleague in generating solutions.
  • Interestingly, you might need to consider treating people differently in order to treat them fairly. This could mean your blind or partially sighted colleague might not have exactly the same working conditions as other members of staff. For example, your colleague could find it easier to be based in one place rather than 'hot desking', so that they are better able to remember where things are kept.
  • Being aware of someone's visual impairment can be helpful in considering how best to support that person. However, it is important to respect your colleagues' right to confidentiality.
  • You should only consider revealing details about someone's visual impairment to others if it is absolutely necessary, and if you have their consent.

Further information for professionals about employing someone with sight loss, including a helpful guide about Working with Blind or Partially Sighted Colleagues can be found on RNIB's Employing a blind or partially sighted person web pages.

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