Andrew, a grafter, has worked at Lloyds for over 34 years. Today he tells us about some ofthe barriers and solutions of working as a Deaf person in hearing corporate Britain.
In the early days (1980’s) paperwork was king. Proper paperwork, where you had to use pens, paper ledgers and handwritten procedures. In many ways it was ‘a very simple job’ and Andrew worked with a great team of highly supportive people while interacting with others outside his team who were also very accommodating.
However then dawned the computer age, ushering in a future where the pace and scope of work grew ever greater. Speed is now of the essence, increasing contact with people outside the team was becoming the norm. The use of phones increased as did demands on spoken and written English. All these changes became more and more vital to the role.
TURNING A CORNER
About 8 years ago, at a team meeting a college brought a BSL interpreter along. Their line manager suggested the Andrew do the same, and said there was benefits to be had in using an interpreter.
Andrew, wasn’t sure, but he was aware of the growing pressures of a hearing employer, where pen and paper were old news. Andrew had realised his career had been restricted through no fault of his own and decided to take the plunge.
He contacted appa.
Working with appa brought a step change in Andrews working life. Andrew’s career started rising again as the restrictions were reduced with the appa service in place. Andrew started to plan his progression and achieve it.
Through the BSL interpretation service at appa, Andrew is now clearly understood in meetings, calls and conversations. Andrew also polishes his written communications such as emails and reports like a balanced score cards with the help of appas BSL to English translation services.
appa provides Andrew with the means to unlock potential that was out of reach to him and his employers. Lloyds had always been accommodating with hearing loops and minicom devices but there was limitations created by hearing barriers. You are valued for what you can contribute. In an increasingly fast paced, interconnected digital world there was a real risk that Andrews’s professional growth could falter.
Andrew now having used appa services for 8 years has achieved tremendous success, even earning employee of the year. The difference both personally and professionally has literally been life changing. Lloyds have a highly valuable, productive professional in their employ and Andrew has fulfilling, open career.
Andrew has used interpreters from other companies but has now been with appa for 8 years. Working in real life is not always neat and Andrew recalled an interpreter stopping work and leaving before a meeting ended because the scheduled time was over. Andrew lists the reasons for using appa:
flexible – scheduling a range of services to meet his professional needs
adaptable – staying on at meetings that over-run, changing schedules at short notice to meet deadlines
professional – dress code, good working ethics, a reliable in-house team with the same high standard of service delivery
Andrew uses appa weekly, he allocates times as he needs it and appa’s booking team makes sure he gets what he wants when he wants.
TRANSPARANCY AND TRUSTWORTHYNESS
Given the competitive and sensitive nature of his work at Lloyds Andrew needs to work with people he can trust and rely on. But trust and reliability is not just a certificate or qualification. It is also an earned and personal issue, 8 years on and appa still supports Andrew in his work.
Andrew also uses our services outside of work. He has hired us for a visit to the James Bond exhibition at the Imperial War Museum to fully experience everything the exhibition had to offer, as well as those all-important book signing days!
Andrew considers our services vital to do the job he is doing now at the management level he is now at. Yet at the same time he has grown and developed on a personal level too. Working regularly with an interpreter has strengthened and developed his skills in English thus improving his independent communication and confidence.
We’d like to thank Andrew for taking time out of his day to speak to us, and look forward to many years to come.