I’m a deaf social worker – National Deaf Children’s Society UK

Hello, I’m Frankie, I’m a Social Care Manager and I’m deaf. I grew up in the deaf community, so I feel deafness is a part of who I am. I haven’t lost anything; it just is who I am, so I view deafness in a very positive way. [music playing] Deaf Action is a voluntary organisation that’s been going for over 175 years now. It delivers a variety of services to deaf people. My move here wasn’t planned, I got my first degree and then realised that actually I wanted to work with people. So I looked for a job and I got a job but it didn’t work out, and then I took a year out of work, just kind of thinking about what I wanted to do and thinking of what my options were. And at the end of that year I was looking for work and I saw a job advertised at Deaf Action, it wasn’t called Deaf Action then it was called The Edinburgh and East of Scotland Deaf Society, but I saw the job advert and it was for an information, advice and guidance worker. And I thought “oh well, I’ll apply for that”. I got an interview and I got the job and I was based within the social work team at the organisation. So I could see what social workers were doing and I became quite fascinated by that and I took on gradually more and more social worker-type tasks. And Deaf Action encouraged me to go and become a qualified social worker, which I considered for a bit, eventually applied, got through the course, became qualified and have been promoted up to the position I’m in now. And my promotion means that I’m in a position to influence policy, decision-making and what goes on. And demonstrate that I am a deaf manager and that I can achieve just the same as other people can and as I say, I just love the job that I do. [music playing] The part I like most about my job… is all of it! I think people and being involved in their lives in some small way. If a little bit of advice that you can offer or providing support or whatever is, whether it’s a trivial thing or a much more major thing, you touch people’s lives and that’s, yeah, that’s what touches me I think. Just being able to be part of people’s lives. Everything about my job I enjoy, the experiences, the different people, the different people, the places. I’m not sure I could put my finger on one particular thing, I enjoy the whole experience. I believe deaf children should never think deafness means “I can’t do certain things”. Your deafness is really what you make of it, if you let it impact on your life then it will. You need to get on, think positively and as I say there are always ways around things. You know there’s not one path to something, if a problem occurs; think of a way round it or break through it, whatever. When I was younger a lot of professionals told my mum that I wouldn’t achieve very much. My mum’s response to that was “we’ll see”. Both I and my mum wanted to prove them wrong and my advice to other parents would be the same. If you have a deaf child, wait and see. Because if deaf children can grow up with the right support, opportunities and access they can achieve anything. The National Deaf Children’s Society is always publishing new videos every Sunday. So if you click subscribe it means that you won’t miss a thing. Keep watching this video when I disappear because at the end you’ll see some links to other videos featuring deaf young people.

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