Big Lottery Fund
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Lottery helps extend the reach to employment for people with sight loss

Two thirds of working age people with sight loss have experienced restrictions in accessing or fully participating in employment (RNIB). However an England-wide initiative which has received almost £300,000 by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) aims to improve the situation for hundreds of blind and partially-sighted people by linking them with employers through targeted placements. The project is one of 60 to have been awarded funding from BIG yesterday, totalling £14.4m.

These work placements aim to improve the confidence and skills of participants by increasing their chances of employment, and making statistics such as - ‘nine out of 10 employers rate blind and partially sighted people as either “difficult” or “impossible” to employ’ (Department of Work and Pensions, 2004) - an attitude rooted in the past. Through the Extending the Reach project from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), participants will be supported to search for jobs, improve their application writing, interview techniques, and acquire work experience and relevant training. They will also be supported and monitored for up to a year to ensure a smooth transition into permanent employment for both employer and employee.

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