Motherwell woman Debbie Scanlon helped promote Deaf Awareness Week at a reception in the Scottish Parliament last week.
Debbie (29), who communicates by British Sign Language (BSL) and works in retail, is supported by Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s ‘On the Move’ transitions project.
This is funded by The Big Lottery, and supports people aged 16-25 in central Scotland who are deaf or hard of hearing in to education, training or work.
At the event Debbie spoke with MSPs, including Central Scotland list MSPs Siobhan McMahon and Clare Adamson, about the challenges that still face young deaf people in seeking work.
Debbie highlighted her own experiences of lacking confidence and struggling to get support that was essential to help her gain employment opportunities.
She said: “There are deaf people out there with similar problems to those I had and they are limited in the opportunities they can get and have had problems with accessing interpreters.
“I know people in the deaf community who’ve been looking for employment for a long time so services such as ‘On the Move’ and Access to Work are crucial to help them gain confidence and find successful employment in the future.”
Barbra Woodburn, employment adviser for ‘On the Move’ added: “Our Parliamentary reception was a great opportunity to showcase the tremendous achievements of our On the Move clients like Debbie.
“It gave them the chance to tell politicians about their goals, as well as the barriers affecting their everyday lives.”