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The Civil Service Hearing and Visual Disability Networks

Hi, my name is Simon Skerritt. I work in the Analysis Function in the Civil Service and I am proud to be part of the Analysis Function Data and Insight (D&I) Group. In 2017, I founded the Civil Service Hearing and Visual Disability Networks, which have become sub networks of the Civil Service Disability Network (CSDN).

The reason I founded the networks was that I wanted to give something back to the Civil Service. I myself wear hearing aids and have had 2 corneal grafts at Moorfields Eye Hospital which has twice saved my sight. I have faced many of the challenges of not being able to see (I was temporarily blind for 3 months) and hear, especially in noisy public areas, for most of my life. Hence, it was so important to be able to give others who are deaf, hard of hearing or have visual impairment support, so that they feel inclusive and not isolated.

I have got to know some amazing and inspiring people across the Civil Service through the networks, who are deaf, hard of hearing or have visual impairment. It has made me realise that being hard of hearing and with visual impairment cannot stop you from achieving what you want to achieve in the Civil Service.

The aims of both networks are to:

  • increase awareness of deafness, hearing loss and visual impairment issues across the Civil Service
  • offer a forum to raise and address specific concerns related to deafness, hearing loss and visual impairment
  • link with the CSDN and establish a pool of role models to promote deafness, hearing loss and visual impairment across the Civil Service
  • support the CSDN as required
  • establish links with Diversity and Inclusion staff across the Civil Service, sharing best practice and providing mutual support where the opportunity arises

We would love to welcome new members, so what’s stopping you? Everyone is warmly welcome to join, but you must be a Civil Servant. For more information, please email csdeafhardofhearing@gmail.com. Alternatively, you can also follow the networks on Twitter: @CSDeafHHearing and @CSVisualNetwork.

Simon Skerritt
Simon works for the Defence Analysis Function as a Strategic Performance Manager with the Ministry of Defence.