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Tina, Director

London  |  Profoundly deaf  |  Two cochlear implants

My job

I’m the director of a captioning company. I meet clients and I manage the marketing, finances, company strategy, and the staff. The job is different every day and always brings new challenges which is great. I love helping deaf employees get a job, stay in a job, and get promotions, as we caption all their interviews, meetings and teleconference calls.

My technology

Access to Work have been a great help. They provide me with speech to text reporters to caption meetings and phone calls, and lipspeakers for networking events.

I have a LISA pager linked to the fire alarm system. I use a speech to text reporter when I make a Skype call so I can read the live captions. I keep face to face meetings small, usually one to one, so there is only one person to lipread. I may add a captioner on my iPad so I have notes afterwards. When I need to attend a networking event, I would book a lipspeaker as they can move around with me, and there is only one person to lipread as they repeat what is said, clearly and without voice. I also have a hearing dog called Bailey.

My cochlear implants are amazing but I am still deaf. I can hear some speech but I still need to lipread most of the time. This means I can’t use the phone, manage in meetings, or network like hearing people do. Having lipspeakers and speech to text reporters helps me a lot.

How I got here

I have a degree in Business with Japanese, then I read postgraduate Law, then postgraduate Careers Guidance in Higher Education. I also trained as a lipreading teacher and a mentor for deaf people getting into work. Working for myself has been the best decision I’ve made as I’ve removed a lot of barriers I faced.

My advice

My advice to deaf young people: Really think through your career options and book a guidance session with a careers consultant. Make sure you know the resources and technology that are available and ask Access to Work for support. Educate your workplace on hearing loss. Most importantly, be assertive and confident - that will take you a long way!