One of our service users, Seon Anderson, age 36 and from Doncaster, has recently begun work as a service driver for PHS. Here, Seon’s manager Steve Phillips, tells us how he and Aspire to Be supported Seon in the interview process for his new role and what he brings to the job.

When Seon originally applied for the role, I didn’t know he was deaf and it was only when I called and spoke to the voice to text translator that I became aware.

I am a firm believer in giving anyone a chance as long as they are right for the job and after speaking through the translator to Seon, I realised that he could definitely be the type of driver that we needed.

After we had arranged an interview, Neil from Aspire to Be called me to tell me what support they could offer us as an employer and to Seon and to arrange for Brian, a signer, to attend the interview.

I explained that this was my first experience of employing a deaf person for PHS and that I would need to speak to HR and our health and safety to ensure that we had the processes and procedures in place that would assist Seon in his role.

Neil was very supportive throughout this process and the guidance from him and Brian at the interview greatly helped me as I hadn’t previously interviewed a deaf person so was unsure of what to expect. I found this a massive help in getting over any of my initial fears as well helping me build a good rapport with Seon on a personal level.

I also offered Seon a day on the vans as an observer to see if he would like this type of work and when he returned to the depot he said this was just the type of work he was looking for.

We met Seon again to go through any potential barriers and how we could overcome them and all the discussions were really positive and proactive. I also found Seon to be very likeable and obliging person and, after confirming everything with HR, I was very pleased to be able to offer him the job of a service driver.

Seon started working with us earlier this month and is now well on his way to completing his initial induction and I firmly believe he will be an asset to us as a company.

Neil has called me several times since to discuss Seon progress and has said If I need any further support not to hesitate to contact him. The services of Aspire to Be really helped me offer this job to Seon and make the whole process such as success.