Sound Advice

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“Within Scotland there are 945,000 people who are deaf or hard of hearing with an estimated 1 in 6 of the general population having some degree of hearing loss”

Have you or your business ever considered employing a young person who may be deaf or hard of hearing? The ‘Moving On’ Transitions Project supports young deaf and hard of hearing people aged 16 – 25 living in central Scotland to have a smooth transition into employment, training, work experience and volunteering as well as supporting them to gain confidence and life skills.

Recruiting a deaf or hard of hearing person for the first time can be a daunting experience; however with the advice and support of Action on Hearing Loss the process is made easier than what it first may seem.

When carrying out an interview with a deaf or hard of hearing candidate it is only fair that the appropriate arrangements are made such as providing the correct type of communication support and equipment. Communication support is available including Language Service Professionals (LSPs) such as sign language interpreters, lipspeakers and speech-to-text reporters who ensure communication is clear and effective and can be funded through Jobcentre Plus. Communication equipment including a loop system is also accessible through the Jobcentre Plus if your business does not have this in place and allows the candidate to have has fair an interview as possible.

Stewart Campbell, a 22 year old deaf man from Milngavie,  is currently carrying out a Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship with the BBC where he has been supported by Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s ‘Moving On’ service. Stewart was one of only 10 people out of 1300 applications to be accepted onto the BBC apprenticeship scheme and has had training from the company in areas such as radio, TV and online. Stewart explained:

“My colleagues are very helpful and I feel part of the BBC’s team. I was provided with a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter at the interview stage and, through the Access to Work scheme, I get the necessary communication support when I require it. I hope my experience encourages other deaf and hard of hearing people to follow their ambitions and achieve what they want to do.”

You can read Stewart’s journey into employment by clicking here.

One local youngster from Ayrshire with hearing loss who has benefitted from the ‘On the Move’ Transitions Project is 19 year old Vinny Murray. Vinny, who has a keen interest in sport, is eager to pursue a career in sports coaching. After meeting Ray Bradshaw from Action on Hearing Loss he was able to connect Vinny with his local football club, Kilmarnock, to offer him the opportunity to work with Community Manager for the club Paul Di Giacomo. Vinny’s role whilst working with Paul was to help kids within the club from the ages of 6-12 and be a role model for them to give them the motivation and inspiration to go on and have a career in sport. Vinny stated:

“Without the transitions project I’d have had much more difficulty and I simply wouldn’t be where I am today. So the transitions project has been a great help”

Community Manager Paul Di Giacomo stated:

“Hopefully it will work out great for him. I’m sure it will. He is a lovely lad and I’ll give him as much support that he needs to fulfill his ambitions in his career.”

You can watch the full interview by clicking here.

It is therefore important when a deaf or hard of hearing person is interested in working for your company that you focus on their abilities and not their deafness. They represent a talented and skilled but largely untapped labour resource and can allow for your business to develop and become an employer of choice.

If you would like to make your business more accessible to deaf or hard of hearing people then please contact:

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland – Tel: 0141 341 5330 Email: scotland@hearingloss.org.uk

Access to Work Scotland – Tel: 0141 950 5327 Email: atwosu.glasgow@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

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