Deaf Journey To Employment Awarded National Lottery Funding

Deaf Journey To Employment Awarded National Lottery Funding

Local project Deaf Journey to Employment is awarded almost £10,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Deaf Lead Services team at Living Options Devon are celebrating being awarded almost £10,000 in National Lottery funding to support Deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL), to build confidence and learn new skills so that they can enter employment.

The Deaf community group, based in Exeter, Devon, will use the funds to provide a unique peer support service for Deaf people through the Deaf Journey to Employment Hub.  The hub will offer support, information, guidance and specialist training right through to employment or work experience.

The Deaf Journey to Employment service is designed, following consultation, by the Deaf community for Deaf people, so that it offers the most appropriate support in steering them in a direction that empowers them to fulfil their potential.  The project Deaf Employment Champion, who has a first hand experience and understanding of the member’s needs and culture said;

“We are delighted to have been awarded the funds from the National Community Lottery Fund, it enables us to continue to offer advice and support to Deaf people in our local area seeking employment.  We will be able to help them create a CV, give hints and tips on how to use job sites, assist them in completing application forms and provide interview training.

The Deaf Journey to Employment team will also be using the funds to create an ‘easy read’ version of the three booklets that people currently use to aid them in finding employment.  As British Sign Language (BSL) is Deaf people’s first or preferred language and is a visual language, not based on English, the written word can often be difficult for Deaf people to read.  The team will also develop their partnership with other public services, bridging the gap between Deaf people and employment specialists.  They will be encouraging and facilitating the opportunity for Deaf people to hold confidential discussions about their worries of entering employment, such as how to book interpreters and how to inform employers on the reasonable adjustments they have a duty to provide for them.

One of the recent attendees of Deaf Job Club said:

“It’s really helped me grow in confidence when looking for a job.  It’s been nice to meet with people in the same situation as me.  I’m really looking forward to having continued specific Deaf support through the hub.  The opportunity of a life coach session or 1:1 support when applying for jobs and when in the work place will be fantastic”.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

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