Alicia is a Support Worker from Reading who is profoundly deaf. Charlotte (not her real name or image) is a blind woman with a learning disability. Together they have achieved brilliant things.
Alicia has never let her disability restrict her, and pursuing a career in social care was no exception.
Despite her initial doubts over her ability to support Charlotte, she has worked hard to think outside the box. Together, they have overcome considerable communication barriers and built a strong friendship along the way.
Charlotte now knows to face Alicia when speaking, so Alicia can lip read. She’s also learned to slow her speech and speak more clearly.
She says: “It was hard at the beginning, and sometimes we thought it wouldn’t work out, but then we just clicked.
“Charlotte and I have a very good understanding of each other’s disabilities and I believe she trusts me when I support her.”
Alicia says her best day at work was helping Charlotte when she had a date. “We found an outfit for her to wear and then chose the make-up. I helped her with her nails and make up by describing what colours they were.”
There are still some limits to communication, as Charlotte explains: “When Alicia and I go out it is really hard to communicate. We can’t talk and walk at the same time. When we go bowling it is too loud and I can’t hear Alicia.
“I know I have to remember to look at Alicia’s face more when I talk with her but we really are learning from each other!”
Social care is a hugely rewarding career choice for many people all over the world – if you want to make a difference in your work every day like Charlotte, visit our careers page to find our latest vacancies.