CAREERS: How I Got Here - Amy Skipp, head of policy and research, NDCS

What was your first job? I was a research assistant at the University of Manchester on a project studying the language learning skills of children with language impairment.

What does your role currently involve? My role at the National Deaf Children's Society is to provide a link between parents, practitioners, policy-makers and our organisation. I help to inform families and service providers about audiological and health-related issues and influence legislation or working practices affecting deaf children.

Roughly outline your career path. My second job involved a project working with children with autism and language impairment. I then became project manager for the evaluation of the Modernising Children's Hearing Services project, funded by the Department of Health and implemented by RNID, before becoming involved with training. Subsequently, I set up a research project connected to the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme. My job at NDCS is my first in the voluntary sector.

What training or course has most enhanced your career? My degree - it taught me to ask questions and opened my eyes to the complexities of communication.

What has been your greatest career achievement? My role in new developments in the field such as identifying deafness in babies, providing digital hearing aids, and good quality multi-disciplinary services, which will all transform the life chances of deaf children.

What is your advice to people starting out in the sector? Don't underestimate the amazing opportunity you have to influence policy at a higher level and have a real impact on people's lives.

Are there any charities you support financially, or with time?

I have just set up a monthly donation with the British Red Cross and I give regularly to Breast Cancer Research.

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