Mentoring Program update – we have 10 months to go!
Canberra Blind Society – Mentoring Program is committed to building the knowledge and confidence of Employers to increase and strengthen inclusive employment opportunities for people who have a vision impairment. Our Mentoring Program is fully funded by the Department of Social Services and therefore it is free for organisations who sign up. Canberra Blind Society would like to work with as many organisations as possible over the next 10 months.
The program has worked well with a number of Federal Government Departments and ACT Directorates. For the past 18 months we have been listening to people’s experiences, sharing our stories, and understanding more about the ongoing barriers to inclusive employment. We have offered insights, raised awareness, and assisted in providing feedback to continue to reduce barriers to employment. The Mentor Team offers support to individuals, teams and organisations by:
- providing a quality customised mentoring approach;
- identifying challenges and barriers to inclusion, accessibility, and employment;
- increasing awareness of the capabilities of vision impaired persons and knowledge about access to available supports; and
- developing resources and facilitating activities to improve understanding related to recruitment and retention.
Sign up now and join our commitment to learning together and creating workplaces that welcome and support professionals with a vision impairment.
Our Mentors are vision impaired. Our program is strengthened by our Mentors having the lived experience of successful careers in the public and private sectors. In 2022 Canberra Blind Society received funding from the Department of Social Services to design and trial a pilot program. Our funding has been extended to June 2024.
Our program is designed to fit with the workforce disability employment strategies developed by different organisations. For example, the Australian Public Service has set a target of 7% across all departments by 2025. Our program assists areas of focus which include:
- attracting, recruiting and retaining more people with a disability, and
- ensuring that Employers provide accessible and inclusive workplace cultures and environments.
In 2023, based on the Mentoring Program work we did in 2022 we plan to provide both Individual and Group support to organisations.
Individual support – Mentor and Mentee Discussions
The mentoring discussions involve meeting regularly for 3 x 1-hour sessions. If the Mentors and Mentees would like more sessions, we can accommodate extra sessions. We have developed themes and questions to encourage rich discussions about individual and organisational experiences. Mentoring discussions can take place in person or via video call.
Group Support – Checklist and Activities
Mentor Team members developed resources in 2022 based on mentor-mentee discussions, shared experiences, and data analysis findings. Our Mentor Team have developed several activities to support the checklists that can be facilitated at your workplace to build skills, knowledge and understanding.