Case Study: Hazel Craigan, Personal Assistant - Public Health Agency
Hazel Craigan is an important asset to the Public Health Agency, where she has worked since 2019. As Personal Assistant to the Assistant Director, Hazel has a key role and has continued to work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Her role includes diary management, admin support and coordination of meetings, and she provides an important liaison role between the PHA, Department of Health, Health Care Trusts and other professional bodies.
Speaking about her experience Hazel said: “The extra needs and communication support that I require as a Deaf British Sign Language user don’t limit my ability in any way. I recently worked independently coordinating two full days of interviews for the PHA with the support of an interpreter. I had to meet and greet the candidates, explain the plan for the day and actively respond to their needs. I love my job, I love interacting with the public and I can’t thank RNID enough for everything they have done for me.”
Laura Murphy, Employment Support Officer at RNID said: “At RNID, we’re here to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus and Hazel is a prime example of a success story. It has been a pleasure to witness Hazel and the PHA incorporate communication access needs into their normal working day. During the year, the PHA team attended two communication tactic training sessions on learning BSL and improving their knowledge of deaf awareness, proving their commitment to deliver solutions to barriers.”
“Hazel has been a participant on the Workable programme since August 2019 and is currently on an extension of one year’s support. Workable support has included referrals to Access To Work and regular one to one support alongside monthly peer support sessions. I wish Hazel every success in the world and it has been lovely to get to know her.”
Michelle Tennyson, from the Public Health Agency said: “It is a pleasure to have Hazel by my side and on the team. Her work ethic and attitude is inspiring and she coped so well with changes to our normal working life during the pandemic.
We adjusted to the new rules and regulations and tried and tested clear face masks within the workplace in order to help ensure that Hazel could still communicate effectively. Hazel is actively encouraged to push the boundaries and perceptions of limitations relating to the Deaf community and we at the PHA fully support her.”
RNID’s Workable programme is delivered by seven disability organisations working together through the Supported Employment Solutions (SES) partnership. SES delivers programmes to assist people with disabilities and health conditions to enter and stay in employment.
The Workable Programme is funded by the Department for Communities.