West Midlands Sight Loss Councils work with HSBC UK to improve Inclusivity
West Midlands SLCs were invited to present at HSBC UK’s HQ as part of their campaigning work for improved access to employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted people.
West Midlands Sight Loss Councils are working with key employers in the region, raising awareness of the Access to Work (AtW) scheme and the skills Blind and partially sighted people bring to the table with local employers.
Off the back of this work, HSBC UK invited West Midlands SLC to present at HSBC UK’s monthly modelling teams meeting to talk about the challenges that bling and partially sighted people can face in the workplace and barriers to employment.
Around 50 staff members joined the hour-long session. Sight Loss Council members raised awareness of the skills that blind and partially sighted people can bring to the table and how simple changes can make a big difference to mitigating the challenges BPS people face.
Presenters also discussed the role of support equipment, training, support workers, and the role of Access to Work.
Different team members from both the UK and India were able to ask questions and engage in a productive conversation about improving accessibility to current and prospective staff as an organisation. Those in attendance were keen to take on board the Sight Loss Council’s recommendations to improve their workplace for their current staff and appeal to any prospective staff with a visual impairment.
One HSBC staff member said:
“The session was very insightful. It was explained to us what it is like to live with sight loss and understand the simple things we could do to make a huge difference. We would never have achieved this perspective without hearing it from someone living with these challenges. The information on ways to adapt our workplace to help people with visual impairment thrive will make a huge difference. I was shocked by the statistics provided about the number of people who are not employed due to their sight loss, and I hope we can take steps towards helping reduce this.”
Following the presentation, HSBC UK have improved the accessibility of their internal comms, increasing the font size of their communications as part of an effort to make their organisation more accessible to their VI staff members.
West Midlands Sight Loss Councils, engagement manager, Louise Connop said:
“It’s great to hear that HSBC UK have taken on board the advice we gave to them around ways to make things more accessible for current and future staff – on the back of them ensuring their internal Comms are more accessible, West Midlands Sight Loss Councils are hoping to continue to work with HSBC UK to ensure their external communications are fully accessible too.”
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