If you need extra support at work because you’re deaf or have hearing loss, help is available. Under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland) your employer must make reasonable adjustments so that you’re not disadvantaged compared with hearing colleagues.
Access to Work grant
You may be entitled to an Access to Work grant to help cover the cost of any reasonable adjustments. The amount you might receive depends on how much assistance you need. The grant can help pay for items or services including:
- assistive technology and equipment, such as an amplified phone, conversation listener or flashing-light fire alarm
- hearing loops in meeting and training rooms to help you participate more easily
- communication support – for example BSL sign language interpreter, speech-to-text reporter, lipspeaker, electronic notetaker or deafblind interpreter
- deaf awareness or BSL training for your colleagues.
For more information, visit gov.uk/access-to-work There’s a separate Access to Work scheme in Northern Ireland, visit nidirect.gov.uk/articles/access-work-practical-help-work
How Access to Work has helped Andy
Andy from Essex feels much less isolated in the workplace after his successful grant application:
“An Access to Work grant pays for fully-qualified British Sign Language interpreters to support me at work. Without this communication support, I wouldn’t be able to deliver at work as well as I do. I couldn’t participate fully in meetings, take phone calls, access information or interact with colleagues – I’d feel completely isolated, and obliged to leave my job. The government-funded support lets me progress in the workplace – and join in with social events and general office chit-chat and humour.”
Get support to do your job
Find out more about RNID Louder than Words business accessibility solutions: communication support, deaf awareness and BSL training, workplace assessments and hearing loops. Call 0333 240 5658 or send an enquiry form.