Summary – Only 6% of people who took part in the research described themselves as unemployed; the majority of people were either employed in some capacity, retired or studying. Whilst those that were in employment said they were able to communicate with their colleagues using BSL or lip reading, 59% felt that they still faced discrimination in the workplace from employers, co-workers and the public. 89% of participants who worked had been on a training course in the past 2 years using an interpreter. However 41% reported that in the past they had been prevented from doing a training course because of a lack of an interpreter.
77% of people in employment use the Access to Work scheme and 76% of these felt that their allowance under the scheme was enough. However there was some criticism of AtW including cuts in allowance provided, the complexity of paperwork, lack of Deaf awareness of AtW staff and a reduction of the fixed fee for interpreters that was making it difficult to book qualified interpreters.
People taking part in the research used a range of different methods when looking for employment including social media, word of mouth and the Job Centre. Whilst some people using the Job Centre were provided with Sign Language interpreters the majority were forced to use written communication in face to face meetings; support from family members or speech and lip reading. Many participants felt that the service they received from the Job Centre was poor and that Deaf awareness needed to be improved.