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Sean Live on the Radio!

On Tuesday (7/01/2020), our Community Development Officer Sean, was invited to take part in a radio interview with WCRFM in Wolverhampton to talk about our service at Zebra Access and what we are up to. Keep watching this space for when the radio interview goes live.


Jason Price here with you on Wolverhampton today. Zebra Access is a Wolverhampton based deaf led charity founded in 2005 dedicated to ensuring that all Deaf people enjoy equal participation and access without communication barriers. Sean Noone along with his interpreter Duncan came into WCRFM to chat with Andy Corston about the organisation.

Sean: So we set up in 2005 and we’ve been going on since then. My project started in 2017 and we are funded through the National Lottery to focus on the community aspects

Andy: OK and are you just in the west midlands or all over the UK?

Sean: So primarily we’re based in Wolverhampton but our project does cover the Black Country and we do have different services within that. Obviously because Deaf people who live outside can come into our area and use our services as long as they are within the black country.

Andy: I believe from looking at your website that you hold job clubs and English and maths groups at various centres around the black country?

Sean: Yes that’s right, yes

Andy:  So is that the main form of support you offer people who are hard of hearing?

Sean:  So we do we do quite a range of support really, so we do our English and maths as you’ve said and that kind of falls under the job club to give the opportunity to those people in the community to look for jobs, because obviously a lot of the users within our service have English as a second language because they use sign language as a first language so really as part of our job club we use that to improve their English and maths skills to potentially get a job.

We also have an advocacy service, so anybody that needs help with translating letters, making phone calls or anywhere you might need an interpreter. And we also do BSL Deaf/awareness training; so if there’s a family with a Deaf child or a non profit organization then we will set up sessions for them to teach them sign language or basic deaf awareness, and we also have a youth development sort of scheme so we do different activities to try and encourage young people to come across from the black country and mix with other Deaf people. As I say we are a very wide based community support system and we also link with a lot of professionals across the black country to make sure that services are improved for those Deaf and hard of hearing people. So really we try and help each other and all of the community.

Andy: So in terms of job support, are you able to go along to job interviews with people to give them…

Sean: Yes we can do, yeah

Andy: And do you set up volunteering placements with work places?

Sean: Yes we do yeah, so at the same time we have got our job club and we can go along with them to interviews and we can also preparation as well prior to the interview, we can do interview skills; making sure they would know how to respond, how to behave in that interview setting. We can also make sure that the job environment has an interpreter, is accessible, and making sure that they are using the right system because we have something called access to work that actually covers the interpreter costs, so making sure that everywhere has got those systems in place ready for the interview so that if that they were successful in their interview and they got their job then obviously things are already set up and making sure that access to work is there supporting them ready for them to go to work. It just means that we can go into the job environment and we can help the staff who already work there learn the skills needed to mix and work with the Deaf person.

Andy: So you do awareness raising as well?

Sean:  Yes that’s right yeah

Andy The next thing I’d like to ask about is fund raising. I’ve seen that you have a lot of fund raising events that go on.

Sean: Yes that’s right yeah. Lots of fund raising because obviously we are a charity base and that’s important to us and vital for our continued support to the community and all of the money does go towards the Deaf community to make sure that we can carry on our services and continue the good work that we are doing.

Obviously, we had a quiz night in November and we raised over £400 in one night. And then prior to that we’ve done other bits as well where we’ve done parachute jumps and things like that different staff members, not myself, I wasn’t that brave, doing parachute jumps and bungee jumping, all in aim of raising money and again in the future there will be more and people can obviously come and get involved and try and raise some money for the deaf community.

Andy: So what fund raising events have you got planned in the next few months in 2020?

Sean: So at the moment we’ve got nothing confirmed at the moment, but we’ve got sort of lots of ideas, and anyone who has got an idea is more than welcome to bring that to us.

Andy: Well before we finish, can I move on to contact details. How can people get in touch with the organization?

Sean: Okay so there’s a few different ways really, you can go through our office address which is Zebra Access based at the Wolverhampton Science Park on Glaisher Drive WV109TG, alternatively we have got a website, or they can give us a call on 01902 421919. And again we can do email which is

Andy: And that is S-E-A-N?

Sean: Yes that’s right S-E-A-N.

Jason:  There we go Sean Noone chatting through his interpreter Duncan to Andy Corston all about Zebra Access.


Zebra Access CIO provides services and support to Deaf, Deaf Blind and Hard of Hearing people with thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund. Services includes Employment Services, English/Maths tutorials, Advocacy, Community Development, BSL/Deaf Awareness, drop-in sessions dealing with a range of queries, complaints, form filling, and many more. Zebra Access staff and volunteers have the right to work in a safe and abuse free environment. The organisation will not tolerate any kind of abuse against its staff, volunteers or property.

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