RAD survey highlights barriers to work for D/deaf people

Wed,5 May 2021
News Employment

New research by the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) has highlighted the challenges faced by deaf people when securing and progressing in work.

The survey, which polled the experiences of D/deaf people in relation to employment and career progression, was carried out at the end of 2020. Among the issues raised by respondents were a lack of deaf awareness amongst employers, communication issues and barriers to voluntary work.

When asked about careers advice, only a quarter of respondents said they had received this in sign language, whilst of those who received careers advice at school less than half (41%) said the careers advisor thought they could do the job they wanted.

When it came to career progression, the majority (60%) of respondents said they had not been given progression opportunities during their career, with several citing a lack of deaf role models within work as a key barrier.

Significant issues were also raised in relation to workplace accessibility and inclusion, with nearly two-thirds (63%) reporting they had not been given equal opportunities in the workplace and just over half (53%) did not feel supported at work. Added to this, 83% of respondents had been excluded from conversations with colleagues; two-thirds (69%) reported feeling lonely at work, whilst over half (59%) had been left out of social events. Shockingly, a third (34%) had experienced bullying or acts of unkindness at work because they were deaf.

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “The level of discrimination that this report reveals is truly shocking. That people actively exclude colleagues because they are D/deaf is shameful. This report is a wake up call to careers advisors, employers and colleagues. It is completely unacceptable that D/deaf people are denied opportunities to fulfil their ambitions and contribute fully within the workplace a decade after the Equality Act came into force.”