“After completing my degree in Computer Science in 2013 I began to look for work - I think I probably applied about 500 times for a variety of jobs online. I received many call backs from employers who were impressed with my CV, but when I explained via text that I am deaf they would say things like: “Oh, sorry. We can’t do the interview because we can’t get an interpreter,’ and, ‘You won’t match the job levels.” I explained that I am totally capable of doing the job and that communication would not be an issue, but this didn’t help. I felt discriminated against because I am deaf.
“I believed it was possible to get a chance and I believed I would eventually get a job. Being on benefits did not interest me. I just wanted to work.
“After five years of job hunting, I signed up to the London Work and Health Programme. I met my key worker, Danielle, who had brought along an interpreter. Together we discussed my employment goals. I have a passion for IT and really wanted to get into that field of work. A few weeks later Danielle emailed and told me I had an interview. I thought she was joking at first, until I received a confirmation email from a prospective employer in the IT field.
“I had never been invited to an interview before. The company were inclusive and supported the deaf community as they delivered services to deaf people. An interpreter was booked for my first interview. I guess it helped that one of the managers was also deaf, so understood my needs. I was thrilled to find out I had been successful and was invited back for a second stage interview. I was a little nervous but felt well prepared as I had practiced interview techniques with Danielle. Two weeks later I received some news… I got the job!
“I am looking forward to the future and making sure I stay focused, work hard and learn as much as possible in my new position.”