Deaf man who has set up his own business shows how Access to Work SHOULD work

Shaun Fitzgerald

There’s been a lot of negative stories about deaf people have struggled to gain support from the government’s Access to Work scheme, so here’s a story to remind everyone how the scheme is supposed to work, and how, when it does, deaf people can benefit from it.

A deaf man from Scunthorpe has been able to set up his own website design business, thanks to Access to Work.

The Scunthorpe Telegraph has reported how Shaun Fitzgerald (27) has always found his deafness a barrier to steady employment. Being given Access to Work has allowed him to pay for an interpreter, in order to communicate with clients and take part in meetings.

Cases such as Mr. Fitzgerald’s are an inarguable example of the positive effect successful Access To Work support can provide, and the huge difference it can make to a deaf person’s career prospects, when it’s provided properly.

Mr. Fitzgerald said; “I have set up my own business providing website design and development. “The grant from Access to Work has enabled me to do this because I had restrictions in communication previously. This money has helped pay for an interpreter.

“I am so happy, and it is a relief to be working because I never had this communication support before. I could never have afforded an interpreter while setting up a business.

“It is so much easier for people that can hear, and I think it is something that is taken for granted. Deaf people can’t just pick up the phone and call someone.”

Interpreter Darren Holt said; “I don’t get involved in the business itself, but it is great to see someone doing what they want to do without the barriers there.”

Mr. Fitzgerald continued; “I am no different to anyone else, apart from my ability to communicate. I want to be an example to other deaf people that they can do exactly the same things if they have the right access to communication.”

Read the full article here:

Read more about ATW, and proposed changes, on Limping Chicken here:

By Emily Howlett. Emily is a Contributing Editor to this site. She is a profoundly Deaf actress, writer and teacher. Emily is co-director of PAD Productions and makes an awful lot of tea. And mess. She now has not one, but four grey eyebrow hairs. C’est la vie. She tweets as @ehowlett

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