An integrative look at differences
The job market for the deaf and hearing-impaired persons still imposes many barriers. Most people are not prepared for this reality, but here at Continental I see the change happening. I notice the effort of my colleagues when trying to communicate with me and the concern of the company in providing an interpreter for the translation of communications, meetings, trainings, etc.
I started my journey here 9 years ago. I was unemployed for a year and a half when a friend referred me to work at Continental, I was happy and scared at the same time, because of the communication barrier. However, when I arrived, the interviewer knew a little bit of Brazilian sign language and then I was very relieved.
In the work area there were other deaf people and also a coworker who knew the Brazilian sign language. Everyone was very receptive and that encouraged me a lot. At first, I found the job difficult, but they said: “calm down, let's try” and this facilitated my learning process.
In my daily routine I’m responsible for assembling, soldering of electronic components, insertion of manual components, ICT tests and final test at PTH. When I have some doubt or need some orientation, if it’s something simple like common technical procedures, having to go to the ambulatory, personal administration, etc… I can communicate with my leader and let her aware of it, when it’s something more complex ( example: orientation about bank of hours, vacation, license, trainings, town hall meetings, union meeting), the company ask for the support of the interpreter in order to give the whole information.
Besides that, a person from HR department and the interpreter come to our working area monthly, in order to check if we need any support or have any request.
Everyone says that the deaf are very smart and quick to learn, in fact what we do is focus and pay close attention to the hands of those who are teaching in order to learn correctly.
Many coworkers want to learn some signs to communicate with us, but we also face some communication challenges sometimes when there are colleagues who cannot learn, or who learn and then forget. But we keep teaching and communicating.
I love working at Continental and I appreciate the company's commitment for an integrative culture and support to the deaf.
This article was written by our employee.