BID Employment Karten Centre

Services/focus of the Karten Centre

The Karten Centre at BID Services is used by the BID Employment Birmingham as a training facility for people with Sensory Impairment including deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, deaf/blind and people with visual impairment. We offer a range of activities including weekly Job Clubs, Personal Social Development & Employability course, basic IT & English for work, theory driving school workshops & British Sign language (BSL) for International Signers. All of our services are delivered in a deaf person's first language or preferred mode of communication including BSL and the technology within our Karten Centre, helps us deliver a high quality service.

Centre specialisms:

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Centre Address

Ladywood Road, Birmingham, B16 8SZ

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Karten Centre Manager

Mark Woodall

Contact Details


0121 246 6100


Host Organisation

BID Services

Host Organisation Address

DCC, Ladywood Road, Birmingham, B16 8SZ

Karten Centre Website

Centre Established

November 2018


BID Employment Birmingham's clients all have a sensory impairment. Predominately, our clients have a hearing loss including those who are profoundly deaf BSL users, people who are hard of hearing and those who have dual sensory impairment. Many are unemployed and looking to access employment support from qualified employment coaches who are either deaf native BSL users or are hearing with minimum Level 3 BSL NVQ. Our Job Clubs are run throughout the week and our clients can drop in for support with Job Search. Our education and training workshops and courses take place weekly through a set timetable.

Typical ages of clients

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BID Employment clients all have a sensory impairment including hearing or visual impairment. Our service supports people from the age of 14 & upwards. Many of our clients have never worked or are long term unemployed. All are looking for support to access Education, Training, volunteering, Work Experience, Employment & In Work Support. BSL is a very different language to English with no written format, so deaf people struggle with English and accessing mainstream provision including further education and employment training providers. Our Karten Centre therefore offers our clients the opportunity to access training and educational opportunities that would be inaccessible without the technology provided by the Karten funding and qualified staff.

Type/s of disabilties

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Technology used in the Karten Centre

We have 15 high quality laptops, an interactive smart board and specialist technology for people with visual impairment including JAWS/Zoom Text. In addition we also use iPads and iPhones.


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Karten Centre Staff

We have 5 members of staff who work for BID Employment Birmingham, however we also work in partnership with Birmingham Adult Education Services who delivers English & IT courses for deaf people.

Karten Centre Hours

BID offer a full itinerary of activity throughout a working week including Job Clubs, Personal Social Development & Employability courses, BSL for international signers, English & IT courses and Theory Driving School workshops all delivered in BSL and accessible for those with sensory impairment.

Services offered to the Network

We could offer advice and guidance on supporting people with a hearing impairment including deaf awareness training, advice on Access to Work and employment support for deaf people. In time we are hoping to develop our services to make them accessible for people with a range of visual impairment and hope to be able to share this knowledge in the future.


In relation to our Employment Service, we work in partnership with Employers, DWP, Birmingham, Black Country & Solihull Councils, BIG Lottery, Black Country Talent Match, Birmingham Adult Education Services, Braidwood Trust School for the Deaf, Longwill School for the Deaf, local colleges and Universities including Herriot Watt, Wolverhampton University & BCU. In relation to our wider organisation, we also work with a range of services including Local Authorities, NHS and third sector organisations.

Additional Information

BID Services (Reg. Charity No. 1053184) started out in Birmingham over 140 years ago in 1872 initially providing services to support the deaf community. Over the years we have evolved and today we support people who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have dual sensory loss. We are still a relatively small charity but now also deliver services in various parts of England, primarily focusing on the Midlands and North of England. Working in partnership with people with sensory impairments, both young and old, we have developed services which respond to their specific needs, are delivered in accessible ways and which allow them to live the lives they choose and achieve their goals, whether this be getting into work, making new friends or learning how to become independent after losing their sight. We provide statutory services such as rehabilitation and mobility training for those who have lost their sight but also identify gaps in provision and develop services such as Youth Club, Holiday Club and our Deaf Elders Group to respond to these. Our specialist service areas include Advocacy, Employment, British Sign Language Interpreting and Training, Rehabilitation and Mobility Training, Specialist Equipment, Residential Care, Social Work, support for Tinnitus and Housing Related Services. Our strategic priorities are to reduce isolation and loneliness, to expand our Sports and Youth Programme, to improve employment chances and to provide better access to information and to maximise independence.

Our head office, BID Employment Birmingham and our Karten Centre are all based within our award winning Deaf Cultural Centre in Birmingham which opened in 2007. The Deaf Cultural Centre also houses our social enterprise, The Signing Tree Venue which is a conference and meeting centre, and our onsite café which offers employment and training opportunities to people with a sensory loss, as well as supporting a range of community, arts and leisure activities.