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Up to two million employees have a visual impairment and it is important that an employer makes provision and provides adaptations to prevent an employee with a visual impairment from being discriminated against. This does not include people with sight problems that can be corrected through contact lenses or glasses.
Your employer must firstly understand what a visual impairment is and what reasonable adjustments they must make to help ensure your wellbeing.

Your visual impairment will usually have been diagnosed but you may find that you have not received sufficient support and equipment to carry out your role effectively. Your employer has a duty to carry out enquiries to ensure that all suitable reasonable adjustments are made to help you undertake your role.

There are a number of ways that your employer can investigate this including involving Occupational Health and Access to Work through Job Centre Plus. A typical assessment for a visually impaired member of staff will consider the need for adaptive equipment such as:

  • Screen readers
  • Speech synthesizers
  • Larger monitors
  • Extra large and illuminated keyboards
  • Zoom Text Magnifiers, Smartview Synergy Desktop Magnifier (CCTV)
  • Portable video magnifiers
  • Large print calculators
  • Visual awareness training
  • Assistance in travel to work
  • Training and education of fellow employees to acknowledge and support their colleagues with visual impairments.

If your employer does not consult with you, carry out the necessary checks and investigations and make any reasonable adjustments necessary, you may find your work suffers. In certain instances you may even be dismissed on the basis that you are unable to carry out the role and if this is the case then you may be entitled to claim against your employer for disability discrimination.

There is no minimum length of employment required to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal, but it is important to lodge your claim within 3 months of the act of discrimination occurring. It is therefore vital to take legal advice on your situation at an early stage and as soon as you possibly can.

If you think you have been subject to discrimination on the basis of a visual impairment, please phone Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000 or complete the form on the right. Lawson-West offer free initial consultations so it won't cost you a penny to find out if you have a claim. We also run a number of free drop-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester, Wigston & Market Harborough.

Lawson-West will make sure that your disability discrimination claim is funded on the most appropriate basis and that will often be on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that Lawson-West have a vested interest in ensuring your employment claim is successful.