There’s been a lot of negative stories about deaf people have struggled to gain support from the government’s Access to Work scheme, so here’s a story to remind everyone how the scheme is supposed to work, and how, when it does, deaf people can benefit from it.
A deaf man from Scunthorpe has been able to set up his own website design business, thanks to Access to Work.
The Scunthorpe Telegraph has reported how Shaun Fitzgerald (27) has always found his deafness a barrier to steady employment. Being given Access to Work has allowed him to pay for an interpreter, in order to communicate with clients and take part in meetings.
Cases such as Mr. Fitzgerald’s are an inarguable example of the positive effect successful Access To Work support can provide, and the huge difference it can make to a deaf person’s career prospects, when it’s provided properly.
Mr. Fitzgerald said; “I have set up my own business providing website design and development. “The grant from Access to Work has enabled me to do this because I had restrictions in communication previously. This money has helped pay for an interpreter.
“I am so happy, and it is a relief to be working because I never had this communication support before. I could never have afforded an interpreter while setting up a business.
“It is so much easier for people that can hear, and I think it is something that is taken for granted. Deaf people can’t just pick up the phone and call someone.”
Interpreter Darren Holt said; “I don’t get involved in the business itself, but it is great to see someone doing what they want to do without the barriers there.”
Mr. Fitzgerald continued; “I am no different to anyone else, apart from my ability to communicate. I want to be an example to other deaf people that they can do exactly the same things if they have the right access to communication.”
Read the full article here: http://www.scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk/m-road-success-thanks-interpreter/story-23070569-detail/story.html
Read more about ATW, and proposed changes, on Limping Chicken here: http://limpingchicken.com/tag/access-to-work/
By Emily Howlett. Emily is a Contributing Editor to this site. She is a profoundly Deaf actress, writer and teacher. Emily is co-director of PAD Productions and makes an awful lot of tea. And mess. She now has not one, but four grey eyebrow hairs. C’est la vie. She tweets as @ehowlett
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out 7 things deaf people want you to know!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Hearing Choices: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people