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Kent Association for the Blind

3 images of a worker showing a man how to use a tablet, a volunteer helping a young girl with art and crafts and a worker supporting a man with using a laptop

KAB provides a comprehensive rehabilitation service to visual and hearing impaired people of all ages and abilities across Kent.

We currently have various opportunities across Kent for enthusiastic, reliable, motivated and caring individuals to provide support on a 1 to 1 basis to clients who have a sight loss or dual sensory impairment.

The hours of work are flexible and vary dependent on demand, however successful candidates can expect to be offered 6 to 20 hours per week dependent on location. If you are interested in this role but live outside these areas then please contact us regarding other opportunities across Kent.

The role of the Guide Communicator aims to support people in overcoming the restrictions and barriers they experience due to their dual sensory impairment. Key areas of support are communication, access to information, and mobility. Examples of typical support include: enabling weekly shopping and leisure activities; dealing with written and telephone correspondence and attending medical appointments. Support is provided in various locations including a person’s home, the community and in residential settings; to enable service users to remain as independent as possible.   The ideal candidate will have good and clear verbal communication skills; have the ability to work confidently using their own initiative and be empathetic to quickly adapt to new clients. No personal or domestic care is involved in this role.

In return KAB offers a rewarding and widely varied support role; regular timetabled visits with dedicated service users and opportunity for ad-hoc cover; enhanced rate for out of hours visits and BSL users and a full training support programme including shadowing and regular supervisory contact.

This is an ideal opportunity for those already working with visual or hearing impaired individuals, or for someone with experience in a support or care worker role, seeking to develop skills in this area.

Experience of working with people who have a dual sensory impairment or complex needs is desirable, but full training will be given. A BSL level II qualification is also desirable but not essential.

If you wish to discuss this position further please contact Rosie Charles on 01622 691357.

We will contact you within three weeks of receiving your application regarding an interview date if you have been successfully shortlisted.

To apply, please download an application pack or call 01622 691357.

Download Guide Communicator Job Pack in Microsoft Word

Download Guide Communicator Job Pack in PDF alt

Hours of work: Hours are dependent on service user need. Successful applicants will be asked their availability for work and visits are assigned on this basis. Typically and where possible service users' needs are matched with a consistent guide communicator.

Based at: Home/Community based. Travel will be required within our area of service.

Salary: £8.45** per hour for Guide Communicator work Mon-Sat 7.00am – 7.00pm, plus an enhanced rate payable outside these hours. *A rate of £8.78 is applicable to BSL work, dependent on qualifcations.**Positions covering areas of London may also attract a London living allowance.

Main Duties

  • Using communication methods appropriate to each individual, facilitate communication to enable personal and social contact with family, friends, neighbours, the local community and the local environment. Act as an information provider to convey, receive and relay written, visual, auditory and environmental information appropriate to the individual's personal, social and practical needs.
  • Support users to physically travel to and access: services, shops, facilities, resources, hobbies, work, study, sport, leisure, meetings, appointments, etc. in their local and occasionally wider environment.
  • Support users to manage a range of personal and home affairs.
  • Support users to maximise the benefits of equipment (e.g. help with hearing aid maintenance) as appropriate.
  • Provide a Sighted Guiding Service to enable users to go out safely.
  • Provide cover for other Guide Communicators as required.
  • Report any significant changes in the client's or carer's situations to the Service Manager. Contribute to case reviews so that the continuing or changing needs of users and their carers are met.
  • Keep detailed records of all work undertaken, report to and maintain regular contact with the GC Staff Team as required.
  • Attend telephone/face-to-face supervision with line manager, GC Team meetings, training as required and occasional events or conferences, as a means of personal development, monitoring & evaluation and accountability.
  • Adhere to KAB policy and the Guide Communicator Handbook.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Ability to work confidently and empathetically on a 1-to-1 basis and the ability to quickly adapt to new clients, and their needs, preferences and life choices.
  • A client-centred approach and an absolute commitment to non-judgemental and anti-discriminatory practice.
  • Excellent verbal communication, listening and interpersonal skills.
  • A very good command of written and spoken English and sound basic numeracy skills (in order to assist with home administration tasks such as reading and writing correspondence, paying bills, undertaking telephone calls on behalf of clients; also in order to complete accurate records of work carried out, hours worked etc).
  • An ability and willingness to participate and support in a range of social and leisure activities.
  • Flexibility in terms of working hours
  • A willingness to liaise with GC colleagues to try and arrange holiday and other cover.
  • An understanding of professional boundaries, and the ability to develop effective and appropriate working relationships with families, carers, and residential care homes etc.
  • Ability to travel independently across the area of service.
  • Ability to work on own initiative in a confident manner, and to deal with emergencies effectively and calmly.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.

Desirable criteria

  • Hold the British Sign Language qualification level II.
  • Experience of working with people who have a dual sensory impairment, disability or age related support needs.
  • Have access to a car for use in the role.
  • Qualification in working with Deafblind people.

Download Guide Communicator Job Pack in Microsoft Word

Download Guide Communicator Job Pack in PDF alt 

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