Top 10 tips on keeping your work environment safe for people who are blind or visually impaired
People who are affected by blindness and other disabilities are just as capable at doing many jobs that sighted people do with a little support and understanding from their employers.
Under the Equality Act 2010 an employer must make reasonable changes for disabled applicants and employees. These are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’. Adjustments should be made to avoid employees being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled employees and employers also have a duty to keep the work environment safe for all employees.
Top 10 tips on keeping your work environment safe for people who are blind or visually impaired:
- Keep corridors clear from clutter like bags, boxes, bins etc. as they are easily missed and tripped over.
- Don’t trail wires from one desk to the other or across corridors, as these are hazards.
- Don’t leave doors ajar, drawers open etc. as it is easy to walk into these.
- Consider the layout of the room; straight lines are easier to negotiate for everyone.
- If you are putting something on their desk like a cup of tea ensure that you tell them when you are putting it so they are aware.
- They might use task lighting, this is localised light that would be on the desk for reading printed material, they might also use a magnifying glass.
- Try to keep light levels constant throughout the building to avoid glare. Reduce glare by using vertical blinds to control the amount of light entering the workplace.
- Consider the use of colour when re-furbishing the work place; introduce colour contrast around doorframes and it can also be used to contrast chairs from the desk from the carpet etc.
- Also consider the use of tactile objects like rails so they can guide themselves along a wall.
- Signage should be large enough to see and in a position that is accessible, like eye level height.
We offer training programmes and consultancy services to organisations and service providers who support people with a visual impairment or disability. We can tailor the training to meet your needs, or the needs of your organisation. These services aim to raise awareness of visual impairment and disability:
- Disability etiquette training
- Visual impairment awareness training
- Deafblind awareness training
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