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deafPLUS secures Big Lottery funding to expand and improve National Advice Service

deafPLUS, the National charity supporting deaf people and people living with a hearing loss, has announced that deafPLUS’ Advice Line has secured Big Lottery funding.

The funding will enable the charity to realise ambitious plans for national expansion and development, with its award-winning British Sign Language (BSL) Advice Line extending its reach to support deaf people in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The Big Lottery funding will see a new and improved booking system, enabling clients to speak to an expanded deafPLUS Advice Line team using video call, or have a question answered by online text chat or email.  Funding will also allow deafPLUS to build a Digital Information Hub on the deafPLUS

website, recruiting a Digital Advice Manager who will to create deaf-friendly online content. This will empower deaf visitors to the website to access the advice resources they need – in BSL and in English.

Gary Williams, deafPLUS CEO, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the fantastic news that our funding bid to Big Lottery Fund was so well received.  Our Advice Line for BSL users won a prestigious ‘Helplines Partnership’ award last year, so its fantastic to now be able to make the service even better still.  We look forward to old and new clients visiting the online Advice Hub when it opens in the spring 2019.  In the meantime, our BSL Advice Line remains open for business ahead of its expansion.”

deafPLUS, also known as Breakthough Deaf-Hearing Integration, launched in 1971 and was instrumental in the development of deaf use of telecommunication technology throughout the 70s and 80s.  It is currently recruiting for the expanded advice team – see https://bit.ly/2SeQNnq for full details.

3 Advice Line Caseworkers – England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Join Our Advice Line Team and Provide Support to Deaf people Nationally!

It’s an exciting time to join the deafPLUS team as we expand and improve our Advice Line. It is the first point of contact for Deaf British Sign Language users to obtain accessible advice over video. The service will also provide accessible advice via text chat and email.

Role: 

  • To provide an Information & Advice service to Deaf BSL users in the UK via the deafPLUS Advice Line via video call.
  • To deliver Information & Advice via text chat and email for deaf individuals who do not use sign language.
  • To monitor and review advice resource (internal advice base and external sources of advice) on an ongoing basis, suggesting and making improvements as necessary and advising on the potential for further Advice Line development areas.

About You – if you have:

  1. Ability to communicate with deaf people, either a BSL user or have Level 6 BSL skills or equivalent.
  2. Good communication, presentational and motivational skills, in person and written form.
  3. At least 2 years experience of providing Information, Advice & Casework.
  4. This experience must also include a substantial element of in-depth casework on all aspects of welfare benefits advice.
  5. Understanding of welfare benefits, debt, housing and consumer care.

Then we want to hear from you!

Location: Birmingham, Scotland (either Glasgow or Edinburgh depending on the successful candidate) and Belfast

To view the full job description and apply, please click here.

Alternatively, you can can email Gary on gary.williams@deafplus.org with your CV and cover letter explaining your interest and suitability for the role.

For an informal chat, please contact

  1. Gary on the email above or 020 7790 6147
  2. Rebecca Mansell on rebecca.mansell@deafplus.org (please email to arrange an informal chat in BSL on facetime or skype)

Application Deadline: 16th January 2019

National Advice Manager – deafPLUS Advice Line

Are you the Advice Manager we are looking for?

It’s an exciting time to join the deafPLUS team as we expand and improve our Advice Line. It is the first point of contact for Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users to get accessible advice.  Its a national service, based in Birmingham.  We are looking for a fantastic advice manager who will ensure we deliver quality advice and support via our video advice service, while also leading the development of the service.

  • To provide an Information & Advice service to deaf BSL users in the UK via the deafPLUS Advice Line over Skype and Facetime.
  • To deliver Information & Advice via text chat and email for deaf individuals who do not use sign language.
  • To develop and sustain the necessary technical aspects of the helpline service to ensure sustained delivery.
  • To line-manage the Advice Line advisors – to be based in Birmingham, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If you have

  1. A least two years relevant management experience
  2. Vocational qualifications in providing casework support
  3. BSL to Level 6
  4. Understanding of social welfare advice including casework. This can be paid or unpaid work and need not have been gained in a specialist post.

Then we want to hear from you!

Location: Birmingham

To view the full job description and apply, please click here.

Alternatively, you can can email Gary on gary.williams@deafplus.org with your CV and cover letter explaining your interest and suitability for the role.

For an informal chat, please contact

  1. Gary on the email above or 020 7790 6147
  2. Rebecca Mansell on rebecca.mansell@deafplus.org (please email to arrange an informal chat in BSL on facetime or skype)

Application Deadline: 16th January 2019

Digital Content Manager – deafPLUS Advice Service

This is an exciting time to join deafPLUS.  Our Digital Content Manager will join out new advice team in Birmingham to lead the way on the development of a new online advice hub for Deaf people, covering welfare, citizens rights, consumer protection and general advice.  Researching and filling the new digital advice hub with accessible, relevant content and keeping it updated for our Deaf audience is the core duty of this new role.

Main Tasks:

To research, identify and respond to the welfare and citizens / consumer rights advice needs of deaf people in each part of the UK, taking into account differences in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • To build and maintain an accessible, accurate, online digital advice resource which reflects the needs of deaf people throughout the UK. By accessible, content should be provided in both British Sign Language video and plain English and jargon-free.
  • To Manage the budget for the digital hub and national advice line service.
  • To script, film and edit BSL advice videos for online.
  • To source design elements and photos, editing for on line use as necessary.
  • To ensure the accuracy, quality and timely updating of BSL advice videos on the digital advice hub.
  • To tailor advice so it is accessible to external clients using the search tools and menu options available within the deafPLUS digital advice hub design, and that advice resources are tagged and organised appropriately to ensure people can quickly and intuitively find the resources they need with the fewest possible clicks.
  • To ensure that the online advice resource retains its functionality and design integrity, with any flaws or technical issues dealt with as quickly as possible.
  • To line-manage the deafPLUS Advice Line Manager.
  • To act as a member of the Senior Management Team, delivering leadership to the wider organisation.
  • To work with the National Centre and local managers team to ensure the corporate website is kept up to date in relation to services, reflects deafPLUS fundraising and marketing requirements and continues to develop, overseeing occasional refreshes to the site when agreed with CEO.

Location: Birmingham

Application deadline: 16th January 2019

To view the full job description and apply, please click here.

Alternatively, you can can email Gary on gary.williams@deafplus.org with your CV and cover letter explaining your interest and suitability for the role.

For an informal chat, please contact

  1. Gary on the email above or 020 7790 6147
  2. Rebecca Mansell on rebecca.mansell@deafplus.org (please email to arrange an informal chat in BSL on facetime or skype)

Application Deadline: 16th January 2019

A Deaf man’s journey to employment

In this video, you can follow the story of a Deaf man called Haytam, as he journeys from unemployment to becoming a barista at Starbucks, with the support of deafPLUS’ employment service:

Birmingham Befriender Service

deafPLUS has successfully received funding from Better Care Fund in Birmingham.

Our work will focus on D/deaf, Hard of Hearing and Visually Impairment Carers living in Birmingham. Our aim is to reduce the social isolation and improve the mental health of those Carers.

We are recruiting volunteers, who must have level 2 or above in BSL. All volunteers will undergo a full DBS check before starting in their role and ongoing safeguarding and deaf/disability awareness training.

These volunteers will provide befriending service to the carers living in Birmingham and undertake and support them to access various activities such as:

  • Visiting shopping centres / supermarkets,
  • Exploring different places in and around Birmingham,
  • Meeting other people at clubs / centres / care homes / retirement homes,
  • Support carers with appointments in GPs / Hospitals / Day Centres,
  • Visit deafPLUS events in Birmingham.
  • Art workshops

We asked the carers about what they thought about the service.

“Befriender is good with BSL and we can communicate. She learning new BSL all the times”

“Befriender goes with me to take buses to my local which is helpful. Without them I would not travel myself”

“When my partner goes to the day centre in Birmingham. Befriender meets me at home and feels ready to go out”

We are working in partnership with VisionPLUS to ensure we deliver the best service and support for carers in Birmingham.

If you would like more information about the role, please contact Olivier Jamin on olivier.jamin@deafplus.org and enclose your CV.

 

www.deafPLUS.org

deaf and hearing people working together toward equality

deafPLUS is the working name of Breakthrough Deaf-Hearing Integration, a company limited by Guarantee.  Registered Company number: 3680467. Registered Charity number: 1073468

New project to help deaf employees out of low pay

Project aims to develop progression routes out of low pay for Deaf employees in London

deafPLUS is delighted to announce a groundbreaking two-year project, funded by Trust for London, which focusses on the career development and advancement of Deaf employees who are stuck in low paying jobs.

By working with employers, we will support deaf employees across London, with the aim of helping them to improve their pay and career prospects.  We will also working to raise employer awareness of how they can get unlock their deaf staff’s potential through, for example, use of assistive technology or workplace buddying schemes.

This innovative project will work closely with store managers and HR teams to ensure that deaf employees receive the same career progression opportunities as their colleagues, including access to training, information about career opportunities and are supported in building their confidence.

At present, 67% of deaf employees nationwide are on national minimum wage –  currently set at £6.50 and rising to £6.70 from the 1st October 2015.

The current London Living wage is £9.15 and the national rate is £7.85.

Project Manager Jason Barnett said: “Since 2002 deafPLUS has worked closely with London employers to find jobs for approximately 380+ deaf clients. In doing so we have been able to significantly improve the lives of their deaf workers.  However it is sadly the case that too many of deaf employees find themselves stuck on the first rung of the career ladder.  This new project will provide a helping hand, ensuring more of them can move up to the next rung or beyond.

Jason also appealed for deaf employees to respond to our survey on employment issues.  This will help to inform his work on this issue.  Please click: here

Contact Details

Jason Barnett – deafPLUS London Career Progression Project Manager

deafPLUS, Key Close, Whitechapel, London, E1 4HG

Office: 020 7790 8478

SMS: 07581 675 422

Skype: deafplus1971

jason.barnett@deafplus.org