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When Andy Met Linda

You can listen, read or watch the BSL video below

With me at the event is Andy Ray as an Employment Advisor with AdaptNI and I and Linda Arthur, a sign language interpreter. Just to explain what's going on. I'm sitting with both Andy and Linda. I'm asking the questions. I'm looking at Andy, but Linda is translating the sign language. And he says good thumbs up even I can do that one. So I'm the you act as a support worker, and Employment Advisor. But you yourself are deaf. How long have you been there for us since birth?

Andy - Since birth, I've been deaf since birth. And I'm from a deaf family. My parents are deaf. And I went to a deaf school. So I've used sign language all my life. I'm strong Deaf character from birth.

Linda - I can tell just from the look of you that you're a character, close difficult has it been to get employment?

Andy - Very difficult. when I was growing up I went to a deaf school. All my friends were deaf sign language users. We had a great life until 16 when I left school at 16 and I just felt lost in the world. I wasn't hearing, and there was lots of communication issues and barriers. So I had to do something. Try to stop the barriers for deaf people. So I learned different things in the Deaf community to support deaf people to help them achieve employment. So that's why I work supporting deaf people.

Linda - I can see what the barriers must be and how difficult it must be. I suppose employers must be a bit frightened to avoid having someone who's deaf who can't communicate, if you can see why they need everybody needs support and the employer and the employee.

Andy - Yes, definitely. Employers are frightened sometimes with Deaf people, but there is now a change in the law. Business must have disabled people that provide interpreters to match their needs. And gradually things are getting better for the deaf community. But we need more of this. And that's why I'm here today to support deaf people. To see the change in the deaf community, get them into employment.

Linda - And have you seen a change?


Andy - I think it's getting better. Yes, things are starting to improve compared to what happened in the past. Things are gradually starting because we have interpreters and the needs of the communication is up. People are supported. We provide information what to expect in an interview, prepare them for that.

Linda - and have you have successful kind of jobs have you got people into?

Andy - lots of successes so far and employment, some people assistance and hotels, voluntary roles as well just to get experience.

Linda - so it's been successful to date on your success story?

Andy - One of my favourite stories, a man from Africa came from Sudan. And he moved here to the UK. He's a refugee. He had no employment, the language, he couldn't speak English. He spoke Arabic language, you know and communication was an issue. So I became an international interpreter to him to try and communicate with him. So we created a CV for him. And applied for different jobs, lots of applications, he it went for an interview and was excited. We taught him the skills and he got his confidence growing and he went for an interview with an interpreter. And I went with him as well to support him. At the interview he had a great discussion with language from Arabic to BSL English, and he got the job and was very happy securing employment.


Linda - So you can sign language in Arabic and international?

Andy - So that people in UK just talk to people into from different countries using different sign languages, which is not the language of our country. So I would use international sign language to communicate with people from different countries who come here.

Linda - That's quite a skill and you got him a job.

Andy - Yes he was successful in achieving a job so that's one of my favourite story. Without a doubt he just wouldn't have been successful because of the communication barriers.

Linda - Thank you very much for your time.

Andy - Thank you. Lovely to meet you.

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