On July 1, 2023, the Information and Advice Point ‘Working with a visual impairment’ started in the Netherlands. This has been set up so that people with a visual impairment can participate in the labour market. Anyone can come here with their questions about working with a visual impairment. Not only visually impaired people, but also employers, support staff and professional people from municipalities and organizations involved in access to work procedures.
In October 2021 EBU organised an annual conference on the theme ‘Employment of blind and partially sighted people, a key to inclusion’ in Serbia. The Eye Association Netherlands mentioned that we were lobbying to set up an information and advice centre for access to work for visually impaired people. We are happy to share with you that with some delay this lobby, which we conducted together with our partner organisations Bartimeus and Bisio, has been successful.
One stop shop principle
The information and advice point gathers all information in one place: www.zichtbaarinwerk.nl. This website focuses mainly on positive examples, empowerment and self-direction and where to get advice and assistance. Also anyone can ask their questions about work by phone or email. The knowledge about working with a visual impairment is actively shared with professionals and employers. This can be done, for example, through knowledge sessions.
From school to work
In addition, the aim is to better connect education and the labour market for young people with visual impairments. The WORKSCAN has been developed for this purpose. The WORKSCAN provides insight into the talents of the school leaver and their possibilities, but also into the necessary help (resources). In this way, the WORKSCAN gives young people confidence in their possibilities on the labour market, it helps municipalities in their guidance towards work and shows the UWV (Employee Insurance Administration) what resources are needed.
The Eye Association Netherlands (Oogvereniging), Bartiméus and Royal Visio will establish this information and advice centre on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. The Ministry has provided the funding for the next 4 years.