Businesses in Wales should stop discriminating against job candidates who are deaf or hard of hearing, according to the charity Action on Hearing Loss Cymru.
A total of 84,000 working-age people in Wales – enough to fill the Millennium Stadium – are deaf or wear hearing aids.
Research from the charity found that many of those people feel they have to hide their condition when applying for vacancies, because they won’t get the same employment opportunities as hearing people.
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru has launched a specialist service to support people who are deaf or have hearing loss to get back into work, the only employment programme of its kind in Wales. The service also offers advice and support to those businesses who want to employ deaf people.
Twenty-three-year-old Sam Lazenbury from Barry has found work through the charity’s employment programme. Sam is deaf, has a learning disability and a stammer.
He said: “Apart from a three-week temporary job I’d been on jobseeker’s allowance since finishing college in 2013. I was attending interviews but not getting any work and I was very frustrated.
"I was referred to Action on Hearing Loss Cymru’s employment service by the Job Centre. They supported me to gain work experience and further qualifications to add to my CV.