Reader comment: How Access to Work policy now affects Deaf people’s job interviews

Posted on November 16, 2015

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In a comment posted yesterday on Jen Dodds’ article on Access to Work Case studies, a Deaf man has revealed how a new Access to Work policy on contacting potential employers directly is affecting Deaf people’s job interviews and ultimately, their chances of getting employment.

Dean told us:

Hi all, a first post from myself. I thought I should say something else about AtW that hasn’t been mentioned: …a job interview.

I had a job interview last week which went very well. However getting an one-off funding from AtW for the interpreter was a nightmare and has ruined my excitement for the interview before it even started.

Usually when we get a job interview, we have to get in touch with AtW beforehand for the approved funding. The AtW advisor would need the details for the company, interviewer and venue where the interview would be taken at. That’s it. I had that four or five times last year with no problem.

BUT now… with the “new policy”, the AtW has to phone the interviewer directly before the interview and ask them if they will fund for my interpreter, without my permission.

I can’t say how wrong that is. All the interviewers usually don’t judge people before they meet them but with AtW phoning them asking the direct question, the interviewer would already have judged me, thinking “If they have done that, imagine if we employ him…do we have to pay extra for him being Deaf, etc etc”.

Access To Work has made an extra stress for myself if I want to look for a different job. I feel that they are trying to tell me not to work anymore and live on social benefits because it’s so cheap and hassle-less.

‘Access to Work’? Not really, it should be ‘Barriers to Work’. Disgraceful.

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