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Ian Karten grant boost for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Employment Service

The generous grant from the Ian Karten Charitable Trust is a huge boost for BID's Employment Service, as it means they will have a fantastic new training suite and updated technology, including an interactive smartboard.

The Employment Service is very technology based, with computers being used for job searches, training sessions, communicating with clients remotely and applying for jobs. The grant will make a huge difference to what the service can offer to clients, enabling the team to deliver more sessions in new ways, in turn maximising people’s chances of moving into employment, helping deaf and hard of hearing people develop key skills and have the opportunity to learn how to use a range of technology, software and apps to help them in their day to day and working lives. 

The Employment Service is delivered in British Sign Language, Sign Supported English, lip speaking and oral communication making it fully accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. In fact, many of the staff in the team are themselves deaf so have a unique understanding of the barriers and challenges their clients experience. Services include 1:1 support and weekly and out of hours Job Clubs to courses including IT training, theory driving test workshops, English, British Sign Language (BSL), Personal Social Development and Employability. All courses run from the IT/employment training suite which the team are excited to be able to develop into a Karten Centre, reinvigorated with new equipment, helping them to better support the deaf community.

Since starting this service 7 years ago, the team have seen higher success rates for clients getting interviews, securing employment or moving onto other training courses or opportunities. Over the last 18 months alone, they have supported over 65 deaf people into employment and many more through training and support to access other opportunities (e.g. training, volunteering, work placements). Over 150 deaf people have accessed the service since the second Big Lottery Reaching Communities project started in June 2017.

Our Employment Development Manager says, “The grant made by Karten Network will make a huge difference to our ability to offer the highest quality to service and will change the lives of so many of our clients. The opportunity to be able to invest in new technology such as laptops and an interactive smart board will open up so many more opportunities and will ensure our clients have total confidence in the service we offer and the technology they use.”

BID Services is a specialist charity which has supported Birmingham’s deaf community since 1872. Today, the charity supports people of all ages who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have dual sensory loss, not just in Birmingham but also across other parts of England such as Leeds and Milton Keynes. The chairty offers a whole host of services for people with sensory impairments from statutory services including rehabilitation and mobility training to social opportunities such as our Deaf Elders Group in Birmingham.

Posted 4th October 2018