Deaf Unity at the South West Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Conference

Published: Apr 2nd, 2015

Deaf Unity has become the first deaf organisation to exhibit at the South West CIPD Conference held at Leigh Court ( in Bristol on 20 March, 2015 to advertise its many forthcoming projects for the deaf community.

It is one of the many steps that Deaf Unity is taking to engage with employers. Ironically enough, the main theme of the CIPD Conference was about stakeholder and employee engagement. Deaf Unity was pleased to be able to represent the deaf community at that conference.

Deaf Unity’s stall had a range of information about organisations offering deaf awareness training sessions and interpreting services, alongside reports on the Deaf Learners’ Conference held in 2013 and the Deaf Careers Fair held in 2014. Abdi Gas’, Deaf Unity’s CEO, report on a UK and USA comparison of provision for the Deaf Community was available for all to see. The information on this stall enabled all at the CIPD to learn about more about the unique culture and language of the deaf community. We are hoping that more employers will take an interest in the deaf community and choose to exhibit at the next deaf careers fair.

The next step is for members of the CIPD to more effectively engage with Deaf Unity and the deaf community. It would be encouraging to see more organisations taking steps to improve the diversity of their workforces and also to provide more accessible learning and development services for the deaf community beyond just meeting their minimum legal requirements. This is an example of developing good working practices. Much more can be done to undertake engagement with under-represented groups such as the deaf community via appropriate workshops and talks.

The deaf community is an under-utilised resource for the Human Resources Profession. The HR profession has tremendous potential to learn more about the language and culture of the deaf community who are currently an under-reached customer base with much business potential. Likewise, the deaf community has much to learn about the practices of the Human Resources profession relating to interviewing, professional development, inter-personal and C.V. skills.

We are currently seeking funds to run many of our innovative projects in relation to deaf employment, and deaf learners, and hope to secure funding to support our work soon. Specifically to this sector, we would be delighted to hold CIPD workshops focusing on engaging with the deaf community for the CIPD on supporting current deaf staff and training prospective candidates for professional roles. Moreover, we would be delighted to hear from members of the CIPD, other relevant professional bodies, or employers regardless of whether they are deaf or hearing who wish to work in partnership with us to give accessible learning and development training courses for the community.

Alasdair Grant, Deaf Unitys Deaf Alumni Project Manager, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has pursued a CIPD Learning and Development training course with the aim of providing accessible learning and development services for the deaf community at an equivalent level as is provided for their mainstream peers. This would seek to address the chronic under and unemployment of members of the deaf community.



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