An entrepreneurial former student of The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) has partnered with the College for his new business. The venture is aimed at helping organisations to be more aware of visual impairments and the needs of over two million people in the UK in both work and leisure environments.
Daniel Williams studied AS Levels in Sociology and Health and Social Care alongside a BTEC Level 3 diploma in Business Studies at RNC. Following this, he read Rehabilitation for people with visual impairments at the University of South Wales and moved to Cardiff to set up Visualise Training & Consultancy.
Before attending RNC, Daniel’s greatest challenge was feeling isolated and that people did not understand what he was going through as a visually impaired person.
“The difference RNC made was that I got the opportunity to meet a wide range of people who were going through similar experiences,” he said. “I was able to challenge my emotions in positive ways. The College gave me a good grounding to make a success of my life.”
Approximately 66% of working age people with visual impairments are not currently in paid employment. Using his own experience, Daniel decided to help others by working with organisations and businesses to expand their knowledge and practical skills in aiding people with visual impairments. As well as providing accredited training, Visualise also offers mystery shopping opportunities, access auditing and workplace assessments, which are of benefit to employers with visually impaired staff.
Staff from different companies who have already received training report feeling empowered to help people with visual impairments, both in everyday situations and in specific, workplace environments. Housing associations, restaurants and schools have all benefited from the guidance of Daniel and his use of props, which include blindfolds, simulation glasses and a variety of canes; providing a powerful demonstration of what life is like for people with visual impairments.
Director of Business and Enterprise at RNC, Tony Larkin, said: “We are proud to support Daniel in this venture; he was a promising student whilst here and it is pleasing that he has gone on to set up his own successful business. Enabling people to understand and not be afraid of visual impairments is something that we, as a college, are working towards and we look forward to doing so in partnership with Visualise in the future.”