As it’s International Sign Language Day, we’re talking about sign language skills and employability! King’s Careers & Employability are here to support every student reach their career goals and provide inclusive opportunities, support and careers practices. At King’s, many students rely on communications using BSL (British Sign Language) and that is an incredible richness in our King’s community well worth celebrating.
As a student with sign language skills, whether you are deaf, hard of hearing or hearing, you have a lot of employable knowledge, attributes, skills and experiences. Let’s talk about how knowing sign language makes you employable:
- Knowing sign language means you can connect with exciting networks and develop knowledge about different cultures and communities
- Sign language speakers are everywhere in our society – being able to communicate with the UK’s biggest minority language is going to be beneficial in all public-facing roles across industries. This means using sign language is applicable in all careers across medicine, law, finance, retail, creative industries and more.
- Many roles have an essential requirement of sign language skills, such as sign language interpreters, translators and speech and language pathologists.
- In addition, your language skills have brought you unique, personal experiences. Whether it’s learning and adapting to new signs quickly, or being able to help someone in an emergency, these experiences all build your employability.
Finding opportunities with inclusive employers
If you are deaf or hard of hearing and seeking jobs, you may be wondering where best to find opportunities from inclusive employers to guarantee that they can support your sign language requirements. In addition to King’s CareerConnect vacancies, where we list jobs available for King’s students, various charities list internships, work opportunities and volunteering jobs from inclusive employers, some of which specifically seek BSL fluency. Start with these:
- DeafUnity Jobs
- More disability-friendly jobsites are listed on our KEATS pages!
In the UK, where British Sign Language is an official language, you have the right to request reasonable adjustments for you whether that is in a university, recruitment or workplace setting. This includes the interview process – so it’s important to disclose information to a recruiter if you need an interpreter.
Available support at King’s
As a King’s student, you have access to lots of opportunities as well as support when you need it. The team at Disability Support consist of specialist advisers who offer information, advice and guidance to all prospective and current students on matters of disability, long-term medical or mental health conditions and learning disabilities. To help every student thrive and reach opportunities, Disability Support works with students to create personalised assessment arrangements, a King’s Inclusion Plan (KIP) to help with practical matters of the university experience including when sign language interpreters may be needed.
At King’s Careers & Employability, our Careers+ programme is specially designed to facilitate disabled students, with longer one-to-one appointments, specialist guidance, advice and information resources and focused workshops and virtual seminars. We are happy to advise you with events, workshops, jobseeking and application advice specifically taking in consideration of your sign language requirements. Our services are currently fully virtual and we use Microsoft Teams as our platform for video meetings and all virtual events. To support deaf and hard of hearing students we promote the Microsoft teams instant captions during our sessions.