Impact of visual impairment on health, wealth and jobs – taking a person-centred approach to wellbeing

18 July 2017 New Bingley Hall, Hockley Circus, Birmingham B18 5PP

Being in employment is beneficial for health. Feeling secure and independent, able to participate in meaningful activities and make and maintain relationships while keeping in good health are all crucial to our wellbeing. These five key themes for a person-centred outcomes approach will be considered at this event, with a focus on addressing the public health challenge of improving the employment opportunities of people with, or at risk of, blindness or partial sight.

Of the 84,000 registered blind and partially sighted people of working age in the UK, only one in four are in paid employment, and this number is falling. This figure is even worse for people who are completely blind. Only around one in 10 people with poor functional vision is in paid employment. The human and economic cost of this is profound. Sight-impairing conditions have strong links with systemic diseases responsible for premature mortality and morbidity. Therefore, lifestyle-related public health interventions (e.g. for smoking cessation, diet, obesity, physical activity), designed to modify risk of these will also have a beneficial impact on eye health and prevention of sight loss. Conditions such as diabetes (a major and growing public health issue) can affect the eyes in a number of ways, the most serious being diabetic retinopathy.

At this event, the public health wider impact on issues of employment and unemployment for people who are blind and partially sighted will be considered. Speakers from the third sector will consider the problems and opportunities and speakers from local and national public health organisations will consider the wider societal impact. You will also hear from those with lived experience of visual impairment and employment/unemployment.

After each session, there will be a panel discussion with all the experts from the day including VISION 2020 UK, the Faculty of Public Health, the Thomas Pocklington Trust, Public Health England West Midlands, RNIB and the West Midlands Local Eye Health Network

This event will be of interest to public Health professionals, professionals working in employment for people with a disability, professionals working with sight loss and multi-morbidities, social care and support staff, third sector staff and people with visual impairments. There will also be opportunities to network and interact with speakers and attendees, free refreshments and lunch.  

Please register your place via Eventbrite.