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Introducing Intern Shauna Humphries

Photo of Shauna and her guide dog at a fundraising event for Irish Guide Dogs.

Shauna joined Sight and Sound Technology Ireland recently on a 3-month internship as part of the Irish Guide Dogs’ Employment Vision project. Shauna gives us an insight into securing employment when you have a vision impairment.

“I graduated from University College Cork in 2018 with a BA in German and Irish. I went on to do Secretarial PA training last year and I just finished that last month. Over the last few years, I’ve been frustrated trying to find employment so when I found the Employment Vision Project on Facebook, I thought it looked really exciting.”

The Employment Vision Project aims to support people who are blind or vision impaired to access employment and improve career progression and employment outcomes through education and training.

Shauna joined Sight and Sound Technology as Customer Service Liaison and is gaining experience in a wide variety of areas.

“I’ve been able to apply of my skills and am working with a lovely team who are flexible. I’ve been able to learn new systems and I’m doing it all remotely, which is great when it’s a 3-month internship. There’s lots of variety in the role.”

Like many people who are visually impaired, Shauna has found it difficult to find employment and to know when to disclose her disability. This is another area that the Employment Vision Project helps with, by advising participants on when and how to disclose their vision impairment to a potential employer.

“It’s really hard to know when to disclose your disability. The good thing about this project is that it has given us some skills to do this – to express it discreetly on your CV but to state it in a positive way. Unfortunately, a lot of employers assume the worst of people with disabilities. They’re afraid we won’t be able to do as much as a sighted employee. We may do things in a different way and lots of people don’t like changing how they do things. They may not want to go to the trouble of making things accessible if they’re not sure it’s going to work out. But there are so many supports out there now for employers to make all of this easier so hopefully this project can help increase awareness.”

Shauna is on a panel for a Clerical Officer role in the Civil Service in Dublin, with a long-term goal to work in EU Institutions and put her languages to use.