Disability is scary for some people and especially for corporate world. Let me share my experiences and feelings. This is an on going series so you can connect the threads as I post and any questions put it in comments section.
There is a big story behind my entering the web world and this all started 4yrs back. I was in my teens and I was about to finish my graduation and as usual campus placements took place. All the big MNC’s came to college and we all are really excited. I have no clue of what I really want to do in life and what career to choose, whether to study further or not or work etc. I just wanted to try my luck in the campus placements and I decided to attend the interviews.
I just want to know how companies will feel when a person with visual impairment come for an interview and how they will respond. Finally one day one of the largest MNC came for campus hiring, they gave their company presentation and I learnt something about the company. At the end of the presentation they said we have differently able people working in our organization and this gave a boost to me. I went for my first round of interview and I passed it. They want to know my English fluency and I have done an ok job. Today also I am not so well worse with my communication. I can speak fluently, but cannot use different words and my spellings are weak. They asked me to come for the second round and I was waiting for my chance when couple of my friends walked out of the room with their job confirmation and they are happy. I was called and I went with a full boost to face the interview.
This is something which I did not expect from that company, the questions are as follows
1. Why do you want to work?
2. How can you work when you cannot see the computer?
3. Can you get a doctor approval that we are not responsible if you loose your vision totally due to work pressure and other things?
4. Can you write a bond of 2yrs?
5. You will be on contract and your salary will be not of the same as your friends.
It is natural that they might not know about the screen reader which makes a normal computer into a talking computer. But the other questions are irrelevant, the simple fact is they cannot say no to me directly, so they have so many concerns and I just told them in one word. If you don’t want to hire me do let me know, but Human Resource professionals have a sweet way of saying no. they put me to a lot of distress which developed fear in my mind
In this way I attended more than 5 companies during my campus placements and learnt that HR’s have different methods of saying no. This did not break my confidence levels but made much stronger from inside and I developed many skills during that process. Each and every time I cleared 2-3 rounds of interview, but never got into any company which came to my campus. I thought I might be lacking some thing, but when I went for an interview in 2008 with the help of Enable India I cleared the interview in the 1st round and I was hired. Since then when ever I went to any interview, I make sure I have the offer in my hand and some times companies who have problem with disability say’s the magic sentence “we will get back to you”.