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Accessible Bespoke eLearning Helps RNIB Support Employment Professionals and Jobseekers

Setting the Scene

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is a charitable organisation that supports people affected by sight loss, including providing training and consultation to businesses and professionals working in social care, health, education, and employment. RNIB wanted to develop their training offering for employment advisors to enable them to provide better support to the 11,000 people with sight loss in the UK who are currently active job seekers, as well as help the individuals themselves to find employment opportunities. RNIB are committed to supporting employers to become more inclusive for people with sight loss.

RNIB Jobseekers eLearning on a Laptop

The Challenge

When creating ‘Employment Professionals’, a training course for employment advisors, the main challenge for RNIB was how to reach a geographically dispersed audience. It was also important for the training to be as flexible as possible. Because social and technological exclusion significantly affect people with sight loss, RNIB also wanted to provide training and support to job seekers with sight loss to help them find new opportunities. Accessibility was key as was the requirement to support learners with varying levels of digital literacy, using different types of assistive technology. To help organisations become more inclusive employers for anyone with sight loss, RNIB wanted help to create a programme of self-directed learning that would help increase the number of people with sight loss applying for opportunities, as well as helping the organisations confidently retain existing staff who develop sight loss.

The Solution

RNIB needed a cost-effective way to deliver training to all of the above audiences and were keen to explore how a digital solution, incorporating new learning technology could help. They also needed to ensure accessibility best practice and reached out to eCom for help.

For Employment Advisors: To create the initial Employment Professionals course, our instructional design team worked closely with the subject matter experts to make the content relevant, engaging and easy to navigate, to help learners get the most from the experience. As part of eCom’s robust eLearning development process, we established close, collaborative working relationships with RNIB and the subject matter experts. This enabled eCom to produce the accessible bespoke eLearning using an agile approach and an iterative development process. We also introduced several interactive features such as knowledge checks throughout the resource, to help employment advisors gain the required knowledge and skills to help them more effectively support people with sight loss to find work. The eLearning was made available to employment advisors from hunderds of organisations via eCom’s powerful learning management system (LMS), eNetLearn, which provides quick and easy access to the learning content, enabling them to easily fit learning around their other work commitments. They are also able to access the content on their choice of device from any location. eNetLearn was developed with ease of use and accessibility designed in from the outset, in partnership with RNIB, so meets the highest accessibility and usability standards.

For Job Seekers with Sight Loss: For job seekers with sight loss, eCom was able to draw on the significant research that was undertaken for a previous eLearning project with RNIB on how to structure eLearning content to make it accessible for screen reader software and accessible on most devices. A wide range of subject matter experts and accessibility advisors worked together with eCom’s instructional design team to help ensure the content provided the required level of support and that Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards and regulations were met and best practice applied.

For Organisations (Coming Soon): For organisations, eCom is creating Sight Loss for Employers, a programme of self-directed learning to educate them on how best to retain existing staff with sight loss as well as increase the number of people with sight loss who apply for opportunities. Again, eCom is helping RNIB to implement a digital approach, creating bespoke eLearning that can be accessed at any time from multiple locations, to be delivered via eCom’s LMS, eNetLearn. eCom will ensure that the content is developed with the principles of accessibility front-of-mind.

RNIB Jobseekers eLearning on a Laptop

The Benefits

RNIB will be able to provide training to all 3 audiences, employment advisors, job seekers and employers in a cost-effective way. The training is tailor-made for the needs of each audience and can be accessed from any location so there’s no need for any travel. This reduces cost in a meaningful way, as well as significantly reducing the carbon footprint. The accessible bespoke eLearning is also available at any time, so learners can easily fit the training around their other commitments.

Feedback on the employment professionals eLearning indicates that it has been well received. So far, over 2,100 employment professionals have completed the eLearning, all of whom gave a positive reaction and in particular, liked the examples and supporting videos.

For job seekers with sight loss, the accessible bespoke eLearning that eCom has created, working in partnership with RNIB, ensures equity of learning experience for those learners. While developing the training for organisations RNIB has created Visibly Better: a quality standard for employers that helps put in place practices that will enable the organisation to become an inclusive employer for anyone with sight loss. This applies to potential applicants and existing staff members who may develop sight loss. eCom is proud of the positive working relationship we have established with RNIB and we look forward to working closely together on future projects.

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