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James, Call Centre Coach

Sheffield  |  Moderately deaf  |  Two hearing aids

My job

In my job I’m on the phone with people and give them advice on how to go about something or how to fix something. I also train new staff that join our company. I love my job! I get the pleasure and satisfaction of helping people. I also feel proud seeing people develop under my coaching and seeing them progress to other areas of the company.

My technology

Through Access to Work I had an assessment on my workstation and myself to see what the best solution would be for me to be able to do my job. My workplace paid for my equipment and they are really excited to see this in place as I am the only deaf person in my office.

I use the Phonak Roger pen (a radio aid) for taking and making calls in the call centre and training new staff. I place the Roger pen in its charging dock and connect the charging dock to the telephone. The pen then transmits the customer’s voice directly to my hearing aids but also removes all background noise which is great. I wear a standard telephone headset just so I can use the microphone to speak to customers. When training staff I place it on the table and it picks up the voices closest to you and sends them to my hearing aids, meaning hearing people close by is extremely easy.

The main barrier I faced was background noise- call centres can be extremely loud! The Roger pen has removed this barrier for me.

How I got here

I studied chemistry in university and then completed a PGCE in secondary science, but I am where I am now through hard work and commitment more than my qualifications.

My advice

My advice to deaf young people: Do not be afraid to let your employer know about your hearing as I was when I first started. There is amazing equipment available and a tonne of support out there for everyone!