A successful Careers event
Elaine and I attended Furze Platt Senior School’s careers event on Thursday 23rd of November. A large number of Universities, Colleges and Employers were on hand. And a good number of year 9-11’s attended with their parents.
Now I had to admit, as a previous student of FP seniors, the careers advice I received certainly didn’t include working with Deaf people. Despite having passed CACDP Level 1 when I was 14, the school didn’t really nurture this interest. Which is why it is awesome to be able to go back and widen the children’s perspectives on their potential employment options!
Armed with plenty of new leaflets and a big box of Cadbury’s heroes, Elaine and I sat up our stall. We took along our simi specs. These have different examples of sight loss. And we persuaded the children to try them on. We also had ear defenders. Using the simi specs of cataracts and macular degeneration proved popular. Most of the children, and a number of their parents, knew of older family members who had these sight conditions. We asked the pupils what they could and couldn’t see with these glasses on. With the macular degeneration glasses most children said they would find it difficult to leave their house, to see who they were talking to and everyday tasks such as reading would be difficult.
Then we asked them to add the ear defenders. A great number of our stall attendees at this point went rigid. “It’s horrible”, “I feel underwater and isolated”, “It’s quite scary” were a few of the comments. Some of the braver ones were willing to be guided around a very crowded library.
This evening was a great way to insert a small bit of sensory awareness training. But the aim of the evening was to provide information about the careers that are available to school leavers. As followers of Indigo Access will know, we are often looking for new staff, because of the demand on our service. But we know that as well as Communicator Guides and Communication Support Workers, there is a raft of jobs connected to Sensory needs.
So once we had captured their attention with the experiences of dual sensory loss, Elaine and I were able to tell them about the career pathways available. Social Work, Rehabilitation for people with a visual impairment, BSL-English Interpreters, Teaching Lip-reading. Moreover we also promoted the colleges and Universities that provide specialist degrees and diplomas. There is a surprising number of careers when you look into sensory needs!
We look forward to returning to next years careers event. And we’ll definitely think on how to make our stall even more interactive and fun for the next round!