At Deaf Direct, we always ensure that we treat everyone equally and employ the right person for the role regardless of their disability. However, not all employers understand how to accommodate people with different abilities, fearing that it may be costly or complicated. More importantly, they do not understand the value that people with disabilities may bring to the team.
In terms of fears that it may be costly, a scheme that all employers should know about is Access To Work. This is a service provided by the government to help with funding for anyone whose health or disability affects the way they do their job. In respect of deaf employees, funding is provided for payment of interpreters and other services such as hearing loss equipment.
As a charity providing support to deaf and hard of hearing people, we would like to share a few of the excellent reasons to include people who are deaf / hard of hearing in any organisation.
People who are deaf spend much of their lives finding ways to adapt within a hearing culture and therefore deaf employees may show patience and flexibility in the work environment.
Deaf employees bring a unique perspective to the team as their background and life experiences are inevitably different than their hearing colleagues. An individual who is deaf / hard of hearing might therefore make suggestions or put forward ideas that other employees would never have considered.
People who are deaf become good at bridging communication and cultural gaps in everyday situations and this can result in them developing strong-problem solving and interpersonal skills in the work place.
Deaf job candidates may unfortunately still face discriminatory hiring practices which can make it a challenge to find a role so deaf individuals have to work harder to find a role and then focus on opportunities for career progression.
A workplace that employs deaf individuals can enrich the culture of their organisation. Adding diversity provides all employees the opportunity to work on effective communication and cooperation skills, while challenging people to explore new perspectives. Each individual in an organisation can learn to become more compassionate, open minded, and willing to go the extra mile for the team.
As our society increasingly focuses on diversity, businesses that do not put in place inclusive hiring policies will be at a disadvantage. By denying deaf individuals job opportunities, employers are also refusing their current employees the opportunity to learn and grow in a multicultural work environment. Furthermore, the employee profile of a business sends a message to potential clients and customers about an organisation’s values.
What our clients are saying about us:
It’s lovely to hear from you. I no longer live is Hereford and will be starting university in September to do my degree in Interpreting BSL/English.
Thank you – Deaf Direct really had a massive impact on this and without you all I wouldn’t be doing it. Wish me luck and I hope our paths cross again in the future
XX was the best interpreter I have used in the 16 years of working with impairments. Not only was she 100% professional and warm, she was flexible, supportive for how we worked which made this complex interview relaxing. Thank you
Excellent interpreter. This consultation would not have been possible without her. She had a good working relationship with the patient. The patient’s care was enhanced by her presence.
I love doing volunteer work. I wanted to give something back to Deaf Direct after they have done for me and the twins. Volunteering is great way to meet people in the community and most important of all, enjoy yourself!
“Would you please pass on my thanks to the interpreter who volunteered to make this year’s annual Lights of Love service accessible to the deaf community of Worcester. The evening was a great success and, that is not least thanks to the ongoing support of your organisation.” November 2014 – Chaplain, St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester
Amazing how prompt and helpful everyone was. A new phone was delivered and fitted within 72 hours. We are so GRATEFUL. Thank you (13th April 2017)
I am now doing level 2 and hoping to do level 3 – through this I have met Deaf/hard of hearing people and spoken to them. 2. I helped to volunteer for a Deaf charity at an information stall in a hospital. The first person to stop was Deaf so I chatted to him – it was great to use my BSL in a ‘real-life’ situation (outside class) for the first time!” 2013-14 academic year – BSL student
‘pleased to see your tip of the week back!’
‘newsletter today very good. Enjoyed reading it.
I’m loving these newsletters! Thank you :o)
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