Each evening session focussed on a different theme, and offered participants the opportunity to come together to share ideas and experiences.
The Workable programme provides one to one support, advice, assistance and training to people who are deaf or have hearing loss in Northern Ireland and their employers. The programme aims to ensure people are happy in the workplace, retain their jobs and have the opportunity to progress.
The first of the four sessions kicked off on Wednesday 24 April with an IT skills session. Nine Workable participants attended, gaining knowledge of apps and programmes specifically aimed at reducing barriers for people with hearing loss. They set up Next Generation Text (NGT App) and emergency services SOS text on their devices and have since told friends and family about what they’ve learned.
A better working environment
One week later, the team delivered an information session on the working environment. They talked about reasonable adjustments and promoted learning through other people’s experiences. The session finished off with an equipment demonstration which opened up a world of opportunity to those who had not tried, or even known, about the wide range of products available.
Week three concentrated on communication support where we discussed options such as interpreters, SignLive and electronic note takers. The group then came together to share ideas and everyone contributed their personal experiences of what has and hasn’t worked in their workplace.
The fourth and final week fell on Mental Health Awareness week. It was certainly topical that our final session covered ‘Stress, Confidence and Good Mental Health’. This week drew in the biggest numbers with 12 programme participants coming along (Domino’s even kindly donated an extra two pizzas for this week!). The session looked into managing stress and building confidence. Tasha Henderson, a previous Workable participant, told us about her experience of receiving support, and how she maintains her confidence. The session finished with a presentation delivered by Martin Creed of the Mental Health for Deaf People service. The group, which included Employment Support Officers, was enthralled by this engaging and informative talk.
To mark the end of the four sessions, we enjoyed a lovely Workable themed cake and a ‘Bag of Happiness’ for all the participants.