How can I help a colleague with sight loss navigate around my workplace?

You can help a colleague to navigate independently around the workplace by following simple health and safety rules combined with common sense. For example:

  • It is a good idea to arrange a tour of the workplace, as you would with any other employee, although a little more time and attention to detail may be required.
  • Be mindful of workplace clutter (open drawers, bins, etc.) that might present a trip hazard. Try not to move your colleagues' things or change where things are kept without discussing it with them first.
  • Your colleague may not be able to walk unattended across hazardous areas or places where there might be unforeseen obstacles.
  • Marking the edges of any steps with a contrasting stripe provides useful visual feedback. Similarly, marking external corners of walls with a contrasting colour to the wall, and marking the ground can also aid navigation.
  • A simple banister running along the length of stairways is always important.
  • The routes into and out of your colleague's workstation, amenities, and especially the route to a fire exit, should not be used as a storage area, temporary or otherwise.

Further information can be found on RNIB's Employing a blind or partially sighted person web pages.

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