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London National Careers service advisers learn new communication tools for customers with disabilities

09 October 2017

Prospects, who deliver the National Careers Service works with a variety of customers. Recently, advisers in London have had a noticeable increase in customers who have additional health issues or disabilities and therefore require extra support in order to overcome barriers to get into work or training.

To enable this National Careers Service Operations Manager, Maggie Kerwin, organised a two-hour session for advisers on ‘Effective Communication’, led by Beans Training, a small, independent company dedicated to raising awareness of disability and helping people to communicate and interact with people with disabilities in the right way.

The session was delivered by Stacey Stockwell, a fully qualified trainer for those with hearing and vision impairments, and supported by Dr. Anita Notenboom. Stacey helped the advisers to challenge their misconceptions about people with disabilities and taught them to effectively communicate with any customers who may have a disability. Stacey discussed the barriers that people with disabilities face and how advisers can support people into sustainable careers.

The advisers thoroughly enjoyed the training, including the session on the fingerspelling alphabet, and were able to learn this extremely valuable communication tool in under 20 minutes.

Maggie Kerwin said: “Stacey has been able to inspire and teach my team of 55 people to communicate via lip-reading and finger sign language in less than an hour. The teaching was practical, common sense and fun for all, increasing communication ability to 90% without saying a word; a truly inspirational day!”

Following the training, one adviser based in Sutton, South London, said: “Just thought I'd let you know that I had a customer who was profoundly deaf this morning but who could lip-read - we had a really good session and I was a lot more confident in communicating with her thanks to the disability training we received!”

Prospects is the prime contractor for the National Careers Service in three areas: London, the South West and the West Midlands. The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance for jobseekers and those in work aged 18 and older to help them manage their career and progress into learning, training and employment.

Qualified careers advisers provide advice and support tailored to each individual customer’s needs through digital technology, telephone and face to face meetings. The service helps customers identify and overcome any barriers they face to give them the chance to unlock their true potential and find a fulfilling career which offers opportunities to progress.

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