A new employment programme has been launched by sight and hearing loss charity Deafblind UK. The programme is called Access Employment and will be a 12-week programme designed to help people living with sight and hearing loss develop the practical skills and positive mindset to help them find employment, training or voluntary opportunities.

Simone Moore, director of operations, Deafblind UK said: “We estimate there are 100,000 people who are of working age and deafblind in the UK yet only 20% of these are in employment. We know there are barriers to employment for people who are deafblind and it’s not just the physical difficulties. Sight and hearing loss presents many different challenges to daily life and as a result, people often find their confidence, social skills and energy levels take a hit – all skills that you need to find and hold down a job. 

“Finding employment is about so much more than applying for jobs – it’s about developing the mental strength to start the process, and the resilience to keep going. We will work with people to develop these traits and to understand how to apply them to start a job search.”

The course will be taught through both group learning and one-to-one sessions and led by an experienced employability coach. Guest speakers will also be a key focus and delegates will hear from speakers who are living with deafblindness and are in employment, local advocates, and industry specialists.

Delegates will explore motivational change, education, training, self-employment, searching for jobs, writing a CV, interview skills as well as learning about disability employment and Access to Work entitlements. Delegates will also have the chance to work with external mentors who will continue to support them for three months after the course.

The Deafblind UK employment programme has been kindly funded by The Vision Foundation and The Forrester Family Trust. It is free and is open to anyone who is affected by combined sight and hearing loss, aged between 18 and 60, living in the UK and not currently in employment.

For more information, visit www.deafblind.org.uk/work

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