To celebrate Deaf Awareness Week (2-8 May), Careers Wales has announced its free and impartial support will be accessible to the British Sign Language (BSL) community from Tuesday 3 May.
Careers Wales has teamed up with SignVideo, the UK’s leading BSL video interpreting service, to better support the deaf and BSL community in accessing Careers Wales services.
The service will initially be available Wales-wide through the Careers Wales Connect contact centre. It will later be available in-person at centres in Aberystwyth, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Llandudno, Newport, Newtown, Swansea and Wrexham. The final phase will be rolled out to all of its 29 centres across Wales.
Nikki Lawrence, chief executive at Careers Wales, said: “This is a positive step forward in making Careers Wales more accessible for everyone. We are delighted to be working in partnership with SignVideo to better serve the people of Wales.
“This partnership will enable the deaf and BSL community to contact us for an initial discussion about their career support needs, our expert advisers will then arrange further, ongoing support as necessary.
“I look forward to the full roll out of our BSL service in all career centres and the vital role it will play in creating brighter futures for the people of Wales.”
BSL is a visual-gestural language with its own grammar using facial expressions, handshapes, gestures and body language to convey meaning. According to the British Deaf Association, there are approximately 7,200 people living in Wales who use BSL, 4,000 of which are deaf.
SignVideo uses a specialist, state-of-the-art video contact centre, which is staffed by fully qualified and registered British Sign Language interpreters. The service allows customers to contact Careers Wales and Working Wales (the service for people over 16-years-old) and the video relay service interprets the conversation for the adviser and the customer.
Ashley Kendall, director of business development and marketing at SignVideo said: “SignVideo are thrilled that Careers Wales understands the importance of providing services which are accessible to deaf members of their community. The launch of this service will enable deaf people to receive support with their career goals on an equal footing to their hearing peers.”