Employer Responsibilities

Your Responsibilities under Law
The Disability Discrimination Act protects disabled people from unlawful discrimination on the basis of their disability. These days, there are very few jobs that visually impaired people actually cannot do – in fact, apart from driving, there aren’t many other things that can hold us back.Which means that you have a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments to your process to allow people with visual impairments to access the recruitment process, and treat them fairly and equitably once they do.

What classes as Disability?
A disability is something that has a substantial and adverse effect on the day-to-day activities of a person and which lasts for 12 months or more. All people who have a visual impairment (poor vision that cannot be corrected by lenses or surgery) can be classified as disabled.

What must Employers Do?
Under the DDA, as an employer you must make reasonable adjustments to allow disabled people to access the recruitment process and the job. These adjustments might include:

  • Supplying specialist technology to help your employee achieve their tasks
  • Supplying readers/scribes
  • Changing the desk position in the office
  • Chairing meetings in a manner which includes someone who cannot communicate non-verbally.

Discrimination is deemed to have been at play if an employer has rejected, treated less favourably or mal-treated a candidate or employee on grounds of disability – rejecting a candidate for a job purely on the basis of their disability, for example.

How this is applied to the Recruitment Process

  • Employees are responsible for communicating their needs to a prospective employer. You can’t be held to account if the employee hasn’t told you about their needs
  • You CAN ask questions about a person’s health or disability BUT only AS LONG AS it is relevant to the job.
  • To avoid any chance of discrimination, you should only ask these questions once shortlisting has taken place.
  • You can ask an employee to undertake a medical but you cannot single out disabled employees for this.