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Job hunting BWBF recipient struggling to find work because she’s blind

A blind woman who is trying to find work talks about the difficulties she has faced as a job hunter with sight loss.

Grania has one of our Sonata plus+ sets Grania has one of our Sonata plus+ sets

A BWBF recipient who is looking for work says she feels like she can’t get a job because she’s blind.

Grania Brennan, who has one of our sets, has been trying to find a volunteer role or paid employment for four years but claims she gets fobbed off as soon as she talks about her sight condition.

She says she either doesn’t hear back from places when she inquires or is told she can’t work there because of health and safety.

The Bridgend, South Wales, resident is fed up and says she wants to let people know that just because she’s blind it doesn’t mean she’s not capable of doing the work.

Grania wants to highlight the frustrations that visually impaired people can face, saying she often notices people hesitate as soon as she says she’s blind if she’s inquiring about a position.

The 39-year-old would love to work with dogs or help homeless people, but has so far not had any luck with any of the organisations she’s contacted.

Before moving to Bridgend from Lancashire, Grania worked with a homeless charity, where her responsibilities included making and taking calls and dealing with money and she said she thoroughly enjoyed it as she felt trusted.

“People just don’t get back to you and it’s very, very frustrating and actually quite hurtful – I’m not stupid I’m blind,” she said.

“Just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean I can’t do the work.

“It’s health and safety gone too far. I’ve been told reasons why I can’t do it and I’ve tried to suggest alternatives and tried to be positive and I’ve been told I can’t do that either.”

Grania says it’s not just her who is struggling as she has a friend with sight loss who gets the same treatment.

She says a lot of people seem to think the only work blind people are capable of doing is answering a phone and she thinks that’s wrong.

“I’ve got to start somewhere and then work up – I want to go home thinking I’ve really made a difference to someone’s life that day,” she added.

“It seems to be the same frustrating message coming back – I feel like because I’m blind they are fobbing me off.”

She is determined not to give up and says she will keep trying and hoping someone will give her a chance.

Grania was born three months early which resulted in her suffering from retinopathy of prematurity, a condition where abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina which can cause it to detach from the back of the eye, leading to blindness.

Talking about our Sonata plus+ internet radio, which is the set she has from BWBF, she says she enjoys listening to podcasts as well as the wealth of stations available through it which she has found fantastic.

The function which speaks the name of the radio station is also one she finds really useful.

“There are radio stations you can get on the internet which are really relaxing – you can get all sorts,” she said.

“I think BWBF is great – it’s good there are organsiations which do think of blind people and understand that they need this equipment.

“It makes a difference when people think about us.”