The gap in employment services in meeting the needs of Deaf people has become much more significant in recent times. The closure of certain specialist services from RAD (Royal Association for Deaf people) and budget cuts forcing mere skeleton services in other provision from them, has left the Deaf community increasingly vulnerable particularly within our current political and economic climate.
Our employment service was set up several years ago. We recruited staff and beneficiaries to this project and have been able to provide support with CVs, writing letters and application forms. In addition, we liaise with employers regarding support needs, Access to Work for funding, and refer to interpreters / agencies to fulfil their communication support needs. We have supported many deaf people into employment at Waitrose, H&M, Coop, Travel Lodge, Amazon which has made a significant difference to their lives. Waitrose is a great employer, with good rates of pay and working conditions are incredibly good. Not only have the deaf beneficiaries benefited from gainful employment, but Waitrose staff have had education, awareness and exposure to deaf colleagues, and customers have benefited from exposure to deaf staff.