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GDA teams up with business to help deaf

A Cheltenham-based business consultant has successfully employed its second deaf employee, with the support of the Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA).

The charity, located in Barnwood, specialises in providing practical and emotional support to people with hearing difficulties. At the heart of what it does is a commitment to furthering the opportunities of deaf people in the workplace, in collaboration with local businesses.

Jonathan Moffitt, who is the director of Gratton Consulting Ltd in Eagle Tower, Cheltenham, sourced his first employee from the GDA in Autumn 2013 and now employs her as a full-time cost analyst.

Since then, the organisation has worked with him to find a part-time researcher, after another employee left.

Jonathan said: “I have been a trustee of Gloucestershire Deaf Association since early 2014 and have had a great experience with the organisation on both occasions.

“I first contacted the GDA after learning that deaf people tend to be good at the careful analytical work and often have the high levels of concentration needed to be a successful market researcher. They gave me a lot of support. My first employee is excellent and critical to my business.”

He added: “When my part-time market researcher left, they quickly identified a suitable deaf person, and set up the interview. This saved a lot of time and recruitment costs for me.

“Michael Cunnane [the part-time researcher] started working for me in May, for part of the summer. Since he has not worked for some time, GDA even ‘hosted’ him for a few weeks whilst he worked for me.”

Jenny Hopkins, CEO of Gloucestershire Deaf Association, said: “We have been delighted to build this relationship with Jon, where he has been open to try out and work with a deaf employee in quite a challenging work environment.”

Managing an employee with a disability can be a real challenge for businesses. Often this stems from a fear of the unknown; a fear of not knowing how to treat them, what they need or even how to explain the situation to clients.

Organisations like the GDA know this and are there to put you at ease and support you in giving a disadvantaged person a vital opportunity.

Support on offer from the GDA for businesses employing a deaf person can include the provision of an interpreter and equipment for interviews and in the workplace, deaf awareness training and the option to apply for additional funding from the Access to Work scheme.

For more information about the Gloucestershire Deaf Association and how you can get involved, head to their website at www.glosdeaf.org.uk, telephone 01452 372999 or e-mail admin@glosdeaf.org.uk.
This article was kindly sponsored by Moose Marketing & PR and Gratton Consulting Ltd for Punchline Magazine. Read the full article online at Punchline Gloucester by clicking here.
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