Deaf Unity: The First Deaf Careers Fair
Published: Dec 11th, 2013
Deaf Unity wishes to announce the first ever Deaf Careers Fair. The fair will take place on Wednesday 7 May at the Greater London Assembly’s City Hall Offices. It is a major initiative to address the chronic unemployment and underemployment of the deaf community.
The fair is the result of extensive efforts to develop good working relationships between employers within the Deaf and Hearing worlds. Its innovative approach means that, in addition to the normal range of stalls normally present at mainstream careers fair, it also includes a series of workshops addressing employment issues such as interviewing skills. Those workshops would inform both the deaf and hearing communities on such issues.
The success of Deaf Unity’s Learners conference in May 2013 highlighted the need to address the challenges for Deaf people moving from an academic learning environment into the world of employment, in particular, the lack of accessible resources to careers advice and role models emerged as a potential barrier to enable deaf people to move into employment. So many existing mainstream careers fairs provide a limited range of communication support for deaf people to learn about their different industries of interest. Moreover, those fairs do not tackle issues specific for deaf people or to enable dialogue on examples of good practice.
Deaf Unity’s CEO Abdi Gas said:
“Deaf Unity is proud to announce this major innovative event which is not only the first in the UK, but also potentially in Europe. The rationale behind this event is one of the many reasons for having established Deaf Unity. This event has been entirely deaf inspired, deaf led, deaf organised, and deaf presented. It is a true reflection of what the united and supported deaf community is able to achieve and an example of the vast range of the underutilised skills and talents that exists within the deaf community. Such successes can only be achieved through partnership working with the wider community.”
Deaf Unity welcomes a range of people to take part in its many projects. The Deaf Careers Fair is a first step amongst those many projects. It aims to provide an effective forum for many employers to work in partnership to develop models of good practice and activities to address the chronic unemployment and underemployment of the deaf community. The UK Council on Deafness considers that unemployment within the hearing community is at the rate of 1:10 whereas for the deaf community it is 1:4.
Deaf Unity is very keen to work with the HR Departments of many employers within the Deaf and Hearing worlds to develop and enhance expertise in the Deaf employment field. HR support would be vital for developing many potential future learning and development programmes that are on the horizon for Deaf Unity. An example is a deaf version of the Model United Nations programme to develop influencing and negotiating skills. The Deaf Careers Fair would provide a forum to discuss and develop those skills.
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