The East Lancashire Deaf Society (ELDS) is working to build a world where deaf people are accepted as part of a diverse society. Doug Alker, the executive chair and managing director, talks to us about how a loan has helped ELDS to support deaf young people.
We put the independence of deaf people at the centre of what we do. 70% of our management committee is profoundly deaf and all of our social activities are organised by deaf people.
A Charity Bank loan helped us to convert part of our business centre into a training facility, dedicated to raising the employment prospects of young deaf people in Lancashire. State-of-the-art technology, a carpentry-training workshop with professional equipment, a bespoke classroom for study… These are just some of the features of our newly refurbished training centre.
It’s been fantastic to see the centre’s current apprentices complete much of the construction work. All too often young deaf people are excluded from mainstream apprenticeships. But technology is only getting better and these young people are finding the tools and resources to succeed. We hope that in the future deaf people’s numeracy and literacy skills will be on a par with those of hearing people and that they can compete as equals in the workplace.
"We put the independence of deaf people at the centre of what we do. 70% of our management committee is profoundly deaf and all of our social activities are organised by deaf people."Doug Alker, East Lancashire Deaf Society