NEW training has been developed to help employees around the country with hearing problems.

The Access To Work scheme helps employees health conditions and disabilities to remain within the workplace and tailors support for each person.

Ruth MacMullen, 25, from York, has hearing loss and works as a library assistant at the University of York , and her colleagues have received deaf awareness training to help them improve their communication and understand her needs more.

Ruth said: “I felt very isolated in groups, both socially and as part of a professional working environment. In addition to this, I had a second cochlear implant two years ago and I think my colleagues found it difficult to understand why I was simultaneously having difficulty hearing. It was incredibly sensitive too.

“Before the training, people may have felt that I was not being co-operative but since then, they have really warmed to me and realise that I was trying to fit in and do my work. I have received lots of positive feedback following the training and colleagues have said that they not only learned a lot about me, but also how to communicate better in general.”

For more information on the Access To Work scheme, please visit or Julie Ryder at HearFirst on 01706 872816 or visit