Gerard works for Translink as a Bus Driver. He initially approached Action on Hearing Loss for support in February 2017, after having been referred by Sensory Support. He was experiencing issues in his workplace connected to his hearing loss and tinnitus.
He was struggling to hear the bell on the bus alerting him to passengers wanting to get off, and found that the reverberations of the bus door were exacerbating his tinnitus.
Gerard joined the Workable programme and, with support from his Employment Support Officer, has seen a significant improvement in his day to day working life.
He said: “The programme has really worked for me, it’s met my needs”.
As part of the support available through the Workable programme, two sessions of Communication Tactics Training were delivered at Gerard’s work. Gerard notes that this training “made such a difference” to his day to day interactions with colleagues, as they now better understand the difficulties associated with hearing loss and tinnitus.
He said: “Before (joining the Workable programme), it was like I was on my own, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I felt like I could lose my job. I feel that my Employment Support Officer has taken a real interest in me and it’s great to have ongoing support, not just starting to get results and then that’s it.”
The Workable programme is available in Northern Ireland for people who are deaf, have a hearing loss or tinnitus and work 10 hours a week or more. The programme offers one-to-one support, advice about reasonable adjustments and training. To find out more, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/about-us/our-work-across-the-uk/northern-ireland/services-in-northern-ireland/employment-support/