Blind in Business was founded in 1992 with a clear objective: to change the misconceptions around visual impairment, remove barriers, provide training, and ultimately help blind or partially sighted individuals into work. So far, they have helped over 800 individuals into their dream jobs and continue to work hard on changing employer perceptions.
Nicholson McBride is proud to have been able to attend Blind in Business’ annual Education to Employment event, and looks forward to supporting their work in the future. In this blog, Kirsty tells us about her day with the charity.
The event was spread across two days, the first of which consisted primarily of outdoor activities designed to build confidence and challenge what the graduates in attendance might usually assume themselves excluded from – like water skiing! The second day focused on putting the candidates through their job-seeking paces – with debates, workshops, challenges and lots of mock interviews in store.
“It was a fantastic day. I sat in on some very thought-provoking discussions, the graduates were engaged and prepared to share their experiences of interviews and employer perceptions. There was a real mixture of backgrounds and experience in the room, which made for lively debate and sharing of stories.”
Alongside some volunteers from a range of organisations, like Centrica and Allen & Overy, Kirsty spent the afternoon conducting individual interviews with the candidates. The focus was on creating a challenging conversation, providing helpful tips and feedback in the moment, and writing up more detailed feedback reports for further reflection and practice. “I forgot how exhausting interviews can be! But the candidates did very well and it was so rewarding. I particularly enjoyed talking to people in the breaks about the feedback they were getting and their journey, in terms of both confidence and skill, with Blind in Business so far.”
The objective of these events (and of the organisation) isn’t limited to helping visually impaired individuals get a job. They are designed to help them get the job they aspire to and will be motivated by, to build enough confidence to equip individuals to knock over perceived limitations. This involves changing everyone’s mindset – including, first and foremost, the graduates themselves. "We know from our research that resilience is learnable and that individual accountability is a huge part of it. These are themes that were inherent to a lot of the conversations and conclusions of the day. They were extremely interesting and resilient individuals."
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