As a qualified deaf trainer I was asked to deliver some Deaf Awareness training for a local organisation. I have just heard that the company was contacted by a charity offering free DA training as they had recently got a grant. I have now lost that piece of work. Do these charities know what they are doing to us?
Judging by your originally long email, you are clearly angry – and I empathise fully. Myself having delivered Deaf Awareness (DA) training for years, I too have been angry about this. Deaf organisations (the larger ones, anyway) kid themselves that they really care about deaf clients and staff in the workplace, but the reality is they know they can get grants for this sort of work.
What funders don’t realise is that as soon as the project has finished, the charities then forget about it and move on to other projects. Meanwhile DA trainers stick around for many years with an on-going commitment to their work, often doing follow-ups to make sure all is still going well.
It’s a pity that organisations don’t apply for grants to train more deaf people to become excellent DA trainers – now wouldn’t that be a great way to create a legacy that lasts for years? I haven’t really given you any advice – only my opinion, because I am not sure what we can do about this. We can’t stamp our feet and shout ‘not fair!’ all the time, but there must be a better way of creating a level playing field for everyone.
I asked a well-respected DA trainer for his views and that is what he came back with: “It really pisses me off having deaf organisations waste resources on something that’s already well served by deaf businesses or freelancers when there are many areas in desperate need for improvement such as deaf education, standards of interpreters, tackling the glass ceiling for Deaf professionals etc. But it’s easy for charities to pick easy work rather than focus on the real needs which are far more challenging.”