Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Dave’s Employment Story

I’m Mike Holroyd and I’m the Team Leader and
the Employment Coordinator here at Action for Blind People. We have taken different
approaches really to see the impact that they have on different clients. So I am just working
with one client very intensively. My name is David Ridgeway, I am 49 years old.
I’m actually registered as totally blind but I have what they call residual vision. But
I must admit, I think it’s very difficult to find employment when you have a sight impairment.
I actually had a go at doing a voluntary role for RNIB in Bristol. I was having a few difficulties
with perhaps getting used to their system. Mike came along and he said we are looking
for people to see how we can perhaps make you more employable, build up your confidence. David has very, very good mobility but there
are maybe some issues around public transport. So we spent our first few weeks looking at
how David was going to get to here. When I started on the enabling course I used
to get a taxi to Action for Blind in Bedminster. But how it’s working at the moment is I actually
get on the bus and actually meet Mike in Bedminster and he actually guides me to the building. So I thought it might be good if we had a
look through your action plan. We looked at David’s skills and we looked
at developing things both that he’s interested in, also things that he’s already good at,
like, for example, using screen reader technology. David’s interested in admin and we have an
admin role here which is involved in interviewing clients over the phone. Just doing a customer satisfaction questionnaire.
It should take between 10 and 15 minutes. So there’s quite a lot of skill involved in
doing that. Number 9, would you feel comfortable requesting
help from Action for Blind People? For sighted people they can see things and
listen to the phone, whereas for those of us who are blind and partially sighted everything
is about listening and that’s quite a skill to develop. Number seven, did you receive the information
in the format of your choice, such as things like computer, email, phone? I would hope that everyone would understand
the complexities of getting blind and partially sighted people into employment. It doesn’t
just happen overnight. So my real desire, as a result of this project, would be that
more resources would be available alongside the training, real work experience, real job
opportunities that are going to give blind and partially sighted people the experience
which we so desperately need,

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