Over on the VI talk audio boo channel, there is a running topic about employment and volunteering. There have been quite a few great contributions from people relating their own experiences in these fields; tracking their journeys to where they are now and where they want to be in the future. This has been really interesting as it’s good to hear how people have achieved and are still achieving. At the same time, it’s important to recognise that there are many struggles in trying to find and gain employment. Still well over 70% of visually impaired people of working age are unemployed and the situation is not helped by the myths and misconceptions that surround sight loss. This is a frustrating daily battle which can only start to be won by some very proactive employer awareness training and the use of examples given on channels like ours.
There are many untapped skills out there that just need the right break and opportunity to be taken on. We are very capable of doing a wide variety of jobs and contributing to the workforce wherever we live.
I currently work as a technology C-ordinator for a large national charity. It’s a very rewarding and enjoyable job, which gives me a large amount of satisfaction. I have previously worked as a Teacher, personal tutor and European and international projects manager. All of these jobs have led from unexpected opportunities; occurring at times when frustration in my job search was at an all time high. Chances and opportunities do come when it appears they will pass by.
I have, however, ensured that whenever I am not in work, I maintain and build new skills by volunteering and seeking out ways to keep in touch. Again, not easy, but in order to compete with others and to get as good a chance of employment success, it is important to do these things.
Hopefully, there will be more employment and volunteering related contributions to the audio boo channel. Although, we’ve acknowledge
That unemployment is at a high level within the VI community, it is also important to note, that jobs carried out by VI people include anything from teachers to solicitors and from bank managers to broadcasters and academics.
In my next blog entry, I will relate more of my own experiences in trying to find, gain and maintain employment; a journey of mixed emotions, frustrations and finally satisfaction.