I am really stuck and I can’t see a way out.
I can’t give up my job, which is becoming more difficult as the years go by, due to changes in the work we do. I would love to resign but it would leave me struggling to find a job. We had deaf awareness last year and I am teaching sign on a daily basis. My colleagues do enjoy it, but they don’t use it.
Fair enough, to each their own, but I feel I am wasting my time. Also daily team meetings are a nightmare. My manager emails me info in advance, but I still miss out a lot in the meeting, as there is no interpreter – apparently it is not cost effective. Shall I stay or shall I go?
Whoa! Lots going on here. Separating out all the different issues would probably be a good idea. Let’s deal with the smaller ones first.
1) Deaf Awareness only works if the training was short and relevant with a 10 Top Tips conclusion and then a follow up a month later. If this is not done, you may just as well sit at home and watch Eastenders or Coronation Street.
2) Why are you teaching your colleagues signing? They obviously enjoy the bit of fun but have not yet made the link between signing and inclusion. Drop it this instant. If you really want to make a difference then use that time to discuss one point that bothers or hinders you at work, and the practical solution that would make it better.
3) You are attending staff meetings without an interpreter? Hello? What’s going on here? Not only are they contravening Equality Laws (others can advise on this better than I can), they are losing any sense of humanity.
In your longer letter you say ‘it is for confidential reasons’, but I fail to see what this can mean. You are not the first person to tell me this. Someone had to sign a 15 page document to say she and her palantypist would not divulge any information learnt.
It is at such moments that I realise the world has gone mad. If it is only a matter of cost, then an online interpreting service, such as SignVideo, seems to be the way to go. Do suggest this to your manager, then stand back and see what happens. Where is your Access to Work advisor in all this? Should you stay or should you go?
Well, let’s see how you get on with some of these suggestions. Contact me again in two months’ time as that’s how long it will take you to begin to turn this around.