Edinburgh | Severely to profoundly deaf | Two hearing aids
As a statistician working for the Scottish Government my job is very varied but the main role is to produce and publish statistics using Scotland’s Census data. I also project manage National Records of Scotland (NRS) annual publication. I produce regular tweets and work with other teams in collaborative work. In my job, no two days are the same. There is plenty of opportunity for additional training and promotion. There is a great work-life balance and flexi time means its not a 9 to 5 job (which is a great way to avoid rush hour traffic). I work with an amazing team who support each other and help out when things get hectic.
As I am deaf and dyslexic I was assessed by two different agencies who tried to accommodate both disabilities. This was done through Access to Work. Through this I received a Phonak Roger Pen (a radio aid transmitter) and Phonak Roger MyLink (a radio aid receiver). I use the Roger Pen in meetings and video phone calls. I take it with me to all trainings and external meetings and conferences. I use it as a portable radio aid whereby the main speaker wears the pen and I wear the neck loop. Sometimes it is easier to leave the pen on the table and spin it round to face each speaker. I cannot use the telephone (even with the Roger Pen equipment) so my colleagues kindly answer it for me. I also use a voice recorder to record most meetings and trainings so that I can listen to it later, or get someone to transcribe it for me. I have an outgoing message to inform people to email me and my email signature notifies people of my deafness and preferred method of communication.
The biggest barrier was my lack of confidence with dealing with new situations and being anxious about not hearing people in meeting and on courses. I never had any support when I was at school so this helps me to be more assertive.
How I got here
I studied maths and computer science, and did a masters in Applied Social Research. I entered the workplace as a temporary researcher and applied for a permanent position. My experience as a temp gave me the skills to enter on a higher grade.
Always make people aware of your deafness and be prepared to educate workmates. Know your rights as a disabled worker and apply for Access to Work as soon as you can as it can take a while to go through. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!