Since late 2019, London Vision has been running regular Tech Sessions for clients of the Works for Me employment programme. The sessions are designed to help clients get to grips with different types of assistive technology, work on skills such as cover letter and application writing, and to work on interview technique. They also provide a supportive environment for job hunting, and a space in which job seekers with vision impairments can exchange hints and tips and network. The sessions are frequently influenced by the clients themselves, and the facilitators are open to planning sessions around specific interests or needs. 

Below you can read about how several attendees have found the tech sessions, and the skills that they have learned or improved upon as a result of taking part. 

Robert 

It is no secret that there are many challenges to overcome as a blind person when obtaining paid employment. I have had several experiences involving employers who, upon learning of my blindness, have become very uncomfortable and used a variety of excuses to turn me away, while staying within the law. As you can imagine, this greatly affected my confidence and jobhunting became a depressing and demotivating task. I wanted to participate in the London Vision Tech Sessions in order to network with other people in a similar situation to me as well as improve upon my knowledge of technology and how it could be applied in the workplace.

So far, we’ve covered topics such as jobhunting techniques, use of jobhunting websites and apps as well as interview practice – even covering presentation creation using Microsoft PowerPoint. One of the most useful things I’ve learned from the Tech Sessions is how to browse and apply for jobs using smartphone apps; a process that can be even quicker than using a job searching website.

I can definitely say that my confidence and skills have improved since starting the London Vision Tech Sessions and I look forward to covering more useful topics in future sessions. If you live in London, are blind or partially sighted and need help with employment, then I would recommend that you get in touch with London Vision’s Works for Me employment service and take part in their Tech Sessions.

Alex 

Attending these sessions has improved my confidence and proficiency with the variety of topics that we have covered so far. What I have found particularly useful is the user-driven nature of the sessions – people are encouraged to ask questions, and you are welcome regardless of your age, employment status or technical ability. The facilitator is also very interested in what we as participants think and is keen for ideas for topics for future sessions. For example, it was my suggestion that led to the session about use of Google products for office tasks, something I wanted to know about given how much of what we do is in the cloud today.

I would strongly encourage people to attend these sessions regardless of age or ability there are always new things you can learn, and the organisers are friendly and approachable. I feel that attending these sessions I feel means I am much better prepared to attend future interviews and effectively look for work.

Anthony 

I took part in the London Vision Tech Sessions because I wanted to gain knowledge of various tech devices and applications functionalities that would increase productivity within the working environment. The sessions have surpassed my expectations and would highly recommend it to anyone. It also gives the opportunity to socialise and meet new people from various works of life.

Each session covered various topics from which applications are more user friendly for VI to preparing for interviews and using shortcut keys when using assistive technology. I learned a lot from each session however, my most beneficial was putting together a PowerPoint presentation on a random subject at short notice at an interview.

The sessions have given me more confidence to not limit my abilities but instead focus more on my stronger capabilities. From experts in different fields to novices there is always something to learn and gain and would highly recommend.

If you would like to learn more about the Works for Me employment programme, please visit this page, or get in touch on [email protected]