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How professionals can get involved with Deaf Works Everywhere

Published Date: 16 Mar 2020

At the National Deaf Children’s Society, we recently launched our new campaign, Deaf Works Everywhere, which aims to get more deaf young people into work – and into jobs that inspire them.

Can deaf people work everywhere?

When I talk to Teachers of the Deaf or other professionals about how they support deaf young people to make decisions about their futures, they sometimes say that they are unsure as to how to advise young people. There is a nervousness about encouraging them towards a career that might not be open to them.

There are a small number of roles for which a specified level of hearing or speech comprehension is deemed necessary in order to enter the profession. For example, the armed forces or police officers. However, the vast majority of roles are open to deaf people with the right support or reasonable adjustments in place. Through our campaign, we want to showcase the wide range of jobs that deaf people currently have rather than the roles that are barred to them. We wanted to provide an upbeat and aspirational message as opposed to one that is only focused on the barriers they face.

What can we do about employers?

When I tell professionals about the campaign, they often refer to the barriers created by employers. Employers will be a key audience for the Deaf Works Everywhere campaign. We want to improve deaf awareness amongst employers and for them to offer more accessible work experience opportunities for deaf young people.

However, there are thousands and thousands of different employers out there. We will not reach everyone so it’s important that deaf young people understand their rights when applying for jobs, be able to recognise unlawful discrimination, as well as understand the support that can be made available through the Government’s Access to Work scheme. Deaf young people have told us they are not well informed about these issues which is why we’ve decided to launch our new campaign. What about the young people you work with?

How you can support our campaign

If you’re a professional working with deaf children and young people, this campaign is likely to be very interesting to you too and you might be wondering what you can do to support it.

Here are some ways that you can get involved.

  • Signpost young people to our Deaf Works Everywhere YouTube and Instagram channels where they can see the types of jobs that deaf people do and the reasonable adjustments they have at work.
  • Use our Next Steps resource, which is free to download online, to support deaf young people at different stages of transition.
  • Look out for our Deaf Works Everywhere toolkit for teachers which is expected to launch in June 2020.
Martin McLean

Martin McLean, is the Lead Careers Campaign & Post-14 Policy & Practice, at the National Deaf Children’s Society.