'Transition to college was scary,' says Waterford student who struggled to hear teachers in school

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'Transition to college was scary,' says Waterford student who struggled to heard teachers in school

New mentoring support service for deaf and hard of hearing young adults has been launched

A new mentoring support service for deaf and hard of hearing young adults has been launched by Chime.

EXPLORE is a new initiative developed to specifically target deaf and hard of hearing young adults aged 16-25 as they begin their journey from post primary education into adulthood.

Chime is calling on deaf and hard of hearing young adults to get in touch with them if they require support.

"We are delighted to launch our new mentoring programme EXPLORE," said Chime CEO Mark Byrne. 

"Research findings have highlighted the challenges and barriers faced by young adults who are deaf and hard of hearing, with particular focus on the transition to further education, vocational training and employment. This is evidenced by low retention rates in higher education, high unemployment rates and underemployment within the deaf community.

"EXPLORE will help to address these issues by providing individualised mentor support. This support will be facilitated through a series of information sessions, workshops and activities. Deaf and hard of hearing young adults will be given the opportunity to explore and identify their goals and aspirations for adult life, with a clear pathway to achieving them.

"We look forward to working closely with education providers and employers around the country to ensure our deaf and hard of hearing young adults receive the appropriate support and guidance in reaching their potential."

A number of young adults who previously engaged with Chime have shared their experiences as they transitioned from secondary school to further education and employment

Edward, 22, from Dublin shared his experiences in accessing employment. "When I started off looking for work, I'm not gonna lie it wasn't easy at all. I have some concerns about future employment because I went through a six-month period where I applied to places and went for interviews, but I wouldn’t get the job even if I had the right experience for that job. I think because I'm hard of hearing that is what puts them off. They think that it’ll be hard for me to get the work done, but it’s not.”

Laura, 19, faced challenges with regard to her education. She is presently studying Child Care in Waterford IT. “I found secondary school to be a challenge. I struggled to hear the teachers. This has had a lasting impact in my education, and it was nerve-wracking transitioning into further education. Transition was scary”.

EXPLORE aims to support not only deaf and hard of hearing young adults, but also potential employers and those from the education and vocational training sector to ensure a smoother transition for all. For further information, contact explore@chime.ie.