Elizabeth, Teaching Assistant & Foster Carer
Pontypool | Moderately to severely deaf | Two hearing aids
I'm a teaching assistant in a mainstream primary school. I work with small groups of children to support them with their work. I love that no day is the same. My job is very rewarding as I watch the children achieve, flourish, and overcome challenges. I see them come all the way through school and turn into amazing young people. I am also a respite foster carer with my local council. Fostering is extremely rewarding as I get to give children a weekend of fun and support and an opportunity to experience a home and activities they don't usually get a chance to do. I enjoy helping others.
I used Access to Work to help fund my Roger Pen (a radio aid transmitter), Roger MyLink (a radio aid receiver), Roger Table Mics and a telephone adapter for the school. I am not eligible for support at home as I don't work enough hours when fostering. My employer has made sure new visual fire alarms were included in the new building work and has held one deaf awareness training. My fostering are looking for funding so they can purchase equipment I may need to allow me to continue to foster, when they move to their new building they are going to look at having a T-Loop system installed. Outside of work I have a visual smoke alarm with vibrating pad in my bed. I have completed a beginner's British Sign Language (BSL) course. I am currently saving so I can purchase other items I need for home and for a BSL course. Social services have provided me with a dementia mat, which alerts me when the child I’m looking after wakes up and steps out of bed onto the mat.
The Roger products help me to hear a bit more in meetings and help me hear when working with groups of children. The dementia mat has helped me relax more as I know it will alert me to when the child wakes up.
How I got here
I failed all my exams in school as my hearing loss wasn't picked up. I did most of my qualifications as an adult. It was easier as I could say I had trouble hearing, but more difficult in the sense that juggling learning around a family was hard. I had to be persistent to get where I am now but it's paid off as I love my job.
Be positive and don't give up, you can achieve anything you want to. There is a dream job for everyone out there and don't let anything stop you doing the job you want. It's all possible with the right attitude and support.