The future is sometimes a scary thought especially if you don’t know what you want to do, I think we can all relate to this. Looking back to when I was younger, I had no clue what I wanted to do, some days I wanted to be an artist, other days a scientist. However as I got older, I eventually realised what I wanted to do and that was fashion design, a big passion of mine.
But there was one thing, which made things a little harder for me… as some of our lovely customers know I am deaf and proud to be deaf. Trying to plan and think about the future was quite scary as I had another barrier I had to deal with and that was communication. I wear a cochlear implant now that aids my level of hearing but this does not restore any hearing I potentially have. Fortunately, I have been around very supportive friends and family so I have been quite lucky, as I know other deaf people may not have this type of support and encouragement.
A couple months ago, I realised I needed a little extra help at Mabel Child. I thought, why not approach deaf schools and see whether any deaf pupils would be interested in work experience with me on a weekly basis and I could offer them a new experience, also communication wouldn’t be an issue as we would be able to communicate with each other in our language, British Sign Language. After multiple email exchanges back and forth with one deaf secondary school, a 19 year old girl was interested in work experience with me which was amazing!
I was so looking forward to meeting them and learning from this new experience together. The work experience was agreed for every Friday from 9am – 2.30pm, starting in May for one month. I taught her how to sort through orders; she supported me in cleaning up the office and maintain an orderly system for all orders to be processed, as well as looking through orders and allocating them to stock. She did such a great job and I hope to be able to do this again in September. I’m pleased I was able to meet this student and discuss the future with her and I hope I was able to give her a little taster into the working world, although my business is small, I believe this was a great opportunity for her to think about what she wants to do in the future.
So, to my readers, if you are ever thinking of providing work experience in your business or organisation, I hope this blog has encouraged you to think about work experience for deaf students or other disabled students!
Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in this and I can pass your details along to the school I had worked with.