A Bournemouth University student survey conducted by the Dorset Blind Association has revealed that students believe that employers discriminate against blind and partially sighted people.
97% of students said that they felt disabled people should be given the opportunity to work if they are willing and able to do so, while 92% also believed that employers are more reluctant to employ blind or partially sighted people in their firms.
The survey was conducted during student volunteering week, 22nd-28th February, inspired by the Dorset Blind Association’s #tryitblind campaign, campaigning to fund an employment project for visually impaired people.
The charity’s aim was to test students’ opinions of employment for blind and partially sighted people, with the charity recognising that the students could be local business leaders of the future.
The survey received a total of 106 respondents and was conducted anonymously at Bournemouth University, encouraging the students to answer honestly.
The figure which the charity were most encouraged by was that 73% of students said that they would employ a blind or partially sighted person if they were managing a business, with less than 5% feeling that disabled people would not be able to cope with a normal working environment.
Two anonymous respondents from the survey had this to say;
“People with sight loss should work if they can. I am registered blind and I consider myself to be disadvantaged by my condition and not disabled by it.”
“Employers should have a responsibility to help get disabled people into work and support them to do so, whilst having backing from the government.”
A large number of students volunteer on a regular basis, making a big contribution to the organisation which now can help more of the estimated 35,000 people in Dorset living with sight loss.
Marketing and PR intern Asmah Mansur-Williams said: “The response from the survey was great, students were eager to express their opinions on the employment of blind and partially sighted people.
“The results of the survey are positively overwhelming, which is a great way to celebrate student volunteering week.”
The charity hopes that its #tryitblind campaign can raise £15,000 for a year-long employment project thanks to the publics generosity.
If you would like to donate you can visit www.tryitblind.com or text ‘MPLY22 £3’ to 70070.