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Integration of visually-impaired people in France

Creation of a Job Club branch in Pays de la Loire

The Air Liquide Foundation supports the “Association for blind or partially-slighted intellectuals” (GIAA), which has worked since 1949 on bringing down barriers between the “world of the blind” and the “world of the sighted”. Following the launch of three Job Clubs, the GIAA would like to develop a new branch in Pays de la Loire in order to support visually-impaired job seekers in this region.

Visual impairment: a barrier to employment

In France, it is estimated that between 120,000 and 150,000 visually-impaired people are of working age and that 50% of these people are not in work. The rate of unemployment among the blind and partially-sighted is far greater than the national average for the general population. Despite the introduction of new technology, they face many different problems when trying to access work:

  • preconceptions regarding the work that the visually impaired can do
  • lack of accessible vocational training courses
  • a lack of awareness within companies of the possibility of adapting workstations and business application software and
  • a lack of confidence among many visually-impaired job seekers, who often feel resigned to their situation and isolated

Whereas employment plays a key role in our social integration, not only thanks to the income generated but also because it enables us to meet other people on a daily basis.

The Job Club: individual and tailor-made support

The project seeks to provide support to visually-impaired people who are either looking for work or training, trying to stay in work or interested in going into a new line of work. 

The purpose of the assistance provided is to give job seekers the tools to:

  • sell their competencies and reassure the recruiter by knowing how to talk about their disability and the digital tools that can make up for it
  • assess the disability’s impact on the position in question
  • research possible sources of funding available to the employer
  • respond to the objections of a recruiter

More than 700 people have received support from the GIAA’s existing branches.

The new Job Club created within the Angers branch will welcome and support job seekers, hold the monthly meetings of the local team and provide adapted equipment.

Involvement of the Foundation

The Air Liquide Foundation is contributing to the renovation of the premises of the Angers branch: new electrical installation and joinery work.