Higly skilled and back in work - Kelvin's story

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Kelvin, 58, has found work as a designer in nuclear fusion after a four year absence from work.

This job is a fantastic result for Kelvin who has overcome many barriers to find employment again. Kelvin is profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Language as a first language. He finds communicating very difficult without it. Kelvin also has Multiple Sclerosis which has left him with restricted use of both his arms and legs. He now uses an electric wheelchair to aid his mobility.

Kelvin was referred to the Work and Health Programme by Jobcentre plus. He was a little unsure at first as he was worried he would not get the support he needed. We talked it through and he decided to give it a go.

Kelvin's Change Coach, booked a sign language interpreter to attend their meetings which helped to alleviate Kelvin's fears of not receiving the help he needed.

Kelvin explained that although he had previously received a lot of interest from employers, they would always phone him, which meant he couldn't communicate with them. We suggested to him that he remove his phone number from his CV and asked him to send us a list of employers he was interested in. We then contacted them on his behalf.

As Kelvin was highly qualified, it wasn't long before we found an employer who was interested - and in a similar job role to one he had held previously.

The employer had not ever employed someone who was profoundly deaf before but they thought he would be a great candidate for the job. We worked with them to advise and reassure that they would be able to provide a suitable work environment.

We discussed Access to Work, which is a programme designed to help employers make reasonable adjustments. Talking things through helped to alleviate any concerns and Kelvin started work with them in summer 2018.

Access to Work now support Kelvin with his travel to work and also arrange for a sign language interpreter to be present on specific days.

As part of Kelvin's ongoing in-work support, we have arranged regular meetings between all parties and for the interpreter to ensure Kelvin is receiving all the support he needs to sustain employment and to be as comfortable as possible in work.

Kelvin's wife has now also joined the Work and Health Programme. She also has a hearing impairment. Seeing her husband successfully in work has given her a huge confidence boost. She now hopes to be in work soon.

The Work and Health Programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund.