Leading cable and hose reel manufacturer, ReCoila Reels
is helping break the barriers of misconception by proving those wrongly seen as least suited for employment in a manufacturing facility can be as productive as anybody.
ReCoila manufactures cables and hose reels for industries including mining, shipping, construction, manufacturing and agriculture. The company used its association with Vision Australia’s employment service to make a hugely positive impact on the life of an individual who just wanted a fair chance.
Sydney’s Alec Allen has Optic Atrophy, which means the optic nerve that carries information to the brain is damaged. According to Vision Australia Team Manager Marion Rivers, when Mr Allen first came to Vision Australia for help, he hadn't worked for 15 years.
Ms Rivers explains that employers have safety concerns about employing people with vision impairment. Vision Australia's specialist staff can demonstrate that safety doesn't need to be a big issue in manufacturing environments by making some minor adjustments to the workplace.
Alec's employer at ReCoila, Patrick Westerholm is happy with his performance in sub-component assembly work. Since the work is stationary, it was easy to set up a place for him. He also encourages employers to consider hiring people with vision impairment.
ReCoila had also worked earlier with another vision-impaired employee, Lesley Mortom who is now retired.
Statistics show that more than 63% of people who are blind or have low vision are unable to find suitable employment. According to a Vision Australia survey, one of the biggest factors preventing them finding work is employer perception.
Vision Australia’s Ms Rivers calls upon employers to give people like Alec the chance to contribute as it can make a huge difference not only to the employee, but also to the employer.