Deaf employees boosted by Government work scheme
Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Health and also in Communities, Education, Local Government
Deaf employees from across the country have received a huge boost thanks to the delivery of specialist training, which has been provided by a government scheme.
The Access to Work scheme helps employees with a range of health conditions and disabilities to remain within the workplace. Each employee and their situation is unique so support and advice is tailored specifically for each person. In some cases, it’s a question of increasing awareness of the disability to promote a better working climate.
Ruth MacMullen, 25 from York has hearing loss and works as a library assistant at The University of York. Ruth’s colleagues received deaf awareness training to help them improve their communication and understand Ruth’s needs more.
The training was delivered by award winning workplace and consultancy company, HearFirst who is a preferred supplier under the Governments Access to Work scheme.
Ruth said: “I felt very isolated in groups, both socially and as part of a professional working environment. In addition to this, I had a second cochlear implant two years ago and I think my colleagues found it difficult to understand why I was simultaneously having difficulty hearing. It was incredibly sensitive too.
“Before the training, people may have felt that I was not being co-operative but since then, they have really warmed to me and realise that I was trying to fit in and do my work.
“I have received lots of positive feedback following the training and colleagues have said that they not only learned a lot about me but also how to communicate better in general. I found it useful that the training was delivered by a deaf tutor – it was great to meet a deaf person who handles their deafness so well and has turned it into something positive.”
Another employee to benefit from deaf awareness training within the workplace through the Access to Work scheme is Brian Nicholls, a training advisor for YMCA Training in Doncaster.
The 64 year old said: “My colleagues were very supportive and enthusiastic about the training and all agreed that it was a very useful session.
“I think the fact that the tutor was deaf and another member of staff identified themselves as having hearing loss demonstrated the extent of the issues and emphasised the need as an organisation to understand how these issues could be resolved in part.
“I personally feel that many people do not appreciate the scale of deafness and I think all employers would benefit from their employees being given this kind of training to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and the issues deafness raises. My colleagues have certainly taken on board the information and advice.”
Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst who delivered the deaf awareness training said: “The Access to Work scheme helps many employees such as Ruth and Brian and the training equips them and their colleagues to work more effectively.
“It’s not just the individuals who benefit either; increased productivity and morale are good for business. If you have an employee with a disability or health condition you may be eligible to get Access to Work funding towards the support they need. As a preferred Access to Work supplier, HearFirst can tailor specific awareness training courses to meet your requirements and improve your working environment.”
For more information on the Access to Work scheme, please visit www.direct.gov.uk or Julie Ryder at HearFirst on 01706 872816 or visit www.hearfirst.org.uk