Blind plumber 'won't take no for an answer'

Published:  19 April, 2011

A blind plumber says he is determined not to let his disability stand in the way of his career dreams.

A blind plumber says he is determined not to let his disability stand in the way of his career dreams.

Despite being born blind, 25-year-old Robert Ainsley-Raffel trained as a plumber, but finds his career chances dwindling as employers are unwilling to give him a chance.

Ainsley-Raffel is set on succeeding and plans to start his own business.

"It has been quite disappointing that no one is willing to take me as an employee but if anything it has made me more determined," he said.

"The thing that people learn very quickly about me is that I will not take no for an answer. If someone says I can't do something I will set about proving them wrong."

As well as being blind, specialist equipment such as a talking tape measure can cost up to ten times more than a standard measure, while health and safety regulations have seen him turned away from colleges.

But he has Level 2 qualifications and plans to set up his own business under the trade name Snappy Plumbin' in the next year through the Access to Work scheme.

"There are not many people who want to push the boundaries. But one day I hope to take on a visually-impaired apprentice of my own, to give them a fighting chance."

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