23 Feb 2021
Legal & General partners with the Vision Foundation to improve job prospects for blind and partially sighted people
Legal & General has today partnered with the Vision Foundation, London’s sight loss charity, to address the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the employment of blind and partially sighted people.
The employment rate for blind and partially sighted people has long been an issue, however the outbreak of Covid-19 has exacerbated the problem further. In London today, only a quarter of blind and partially sighted people of working age are in paid work, compared to half of all disabled people and 80% of non-disabled people. The partnership is formed on the shared belief that barriers to employment are eminently solvable with the right services and attitudes, particularly at a time when Covid-19 has necessitated one of the biggest shifts in working patterns and behaviors in living history.
The Vision Foundation is working with the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham to identify the factors that contribute towards poor employment outcomes for blind and partially sighted people and how this can be improved. The research study, funded by Legal & General, will ensure the Vision Foundation funds the employment projects and services that deliver the best outcomes for blind and partially sighted people.
Due to conclude in April 2021, this research will also aid in policymaking and resource allocation to ensure visually impaired people can compete fairly in the open employment market. In addition, over the next year, Legal & General will work with the Vision Foundation on several partner initiatives which will inform the grant making activities of the Vision Foundation and influence public policy in the future.
By combining our expertise and Legal & General’s funding, the partnership will transform lives, save sight, and drive systemic change for blind and partially sighted people.
“We’re delighted to launch this groundbreaking partnership with Legal & General. By working together, we will shift the dial on the shocking employment prospects currently faced by blind and partially sighted people – creating opportunities, changing attitudes and rebuilding confidence. The impact of the pandemic on the jobs market means it has never been a more urgent time for this work. But nor has it ever been a more hopeful time, as we’ve seen just how adaptable and supportive employers and communities can be.”
Olivia Curno, CEO of the Vision Foundation
“We're thrilled to be working with the Vision Foundation and to be able to fund this research. Our ambition is to create new opportunities for blind and partially sighted people across society. Our joint approach will not only help understand which projects need support, but also what the practical steps are that will make a real difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people in the UK and beyond.”
Henry Jones, Head of Inclusion Legal & General Group