Steve McCabe MP backs calls for more local employment opportunities for deaf people

Steve McCabe MP is backing Action on Hearing Loss’ calls for more local employment opportunities for deaf people in his constituency.

 

Steve has given his support to the charity’s Working for Change campaign which aims to change attitudes to hearing loss in the workplace amongst employers. Steve has supported a number of his deaf constituents in the past who have had problems getting the support they are entitled to in the workplace via the government’s Access to Work funding scheme.

The scheme is meant to cover costs for practical support in the workplace. This support ranges from British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting services to special equipment and written communication support. However, constituents told Steve that they weren’t getting the support they needed to carry out their work to the best of their abilities.

Action on Hearing Loss have produced a myth-busting guide for employers so they know how best to support their deaf employees in the workplace. The charity also commissioned polling from YouGov and conduced some interviews with businesses which found that:

·         63% of business leaders had never heard of Access to Work

·         35% of business leaders stated that they do not feel confident about their business employing a person with hearing loss

·         57% of business leaders agree that there is a lack of support or advice available for employers about employing people with hearing loss

·         39% of business leaders stated that they disagreed that they are well-equipped to enable staff with hearing loss to stay productive in the workforce

 

Steve is hoping that with the opening of the new Sense Touchbase Pears in his constituency, more employers and deaf people will be able to access local support so that the whole community benefits from more people in work.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I think it is really important that we as a community support people with hearing loss to enter and progress in the local workforce. I think that there is a lot of fear of the unknown with employers which is why it’s important to raise more awareness and support for employers about how best they can support their deaf employees. I was surprised to learn that the majority of businesses had never heard of Access to Work, I’ve met a number of my deaf constituents who are eager to work or get on in their careers so this campaign has my full support.”

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