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”.
bhavna jain says
i think its the part of the package that we all are born with some kind of shortcoming.some people very bad with numbers and some can not express themselves properly..
some are insensitive to others and some are downright unjust and cruel..
some can not paint,draw or even doodle to save their life..
and some simply can not cook at all..
some find reducing weight a herculean task..
and some just can not eat for the fear of gaining weight..
some can not sing or dance at all..born with two left feet.
in my perspective all the above “able”people are having some kind of disability.
you can not see.
for me your disability is as grave as all these people’s inability to do something which other people may do with such ease.i think difference is of the degree and not of the kind!your disability is more limiting then all the others.it make life more difficult to cope with then other.but it certainly doesn’t or should not make it a thing to be scared of for others.
you are coping with it,living with it even doing more then required is what makes you ‘UNABLE”.
sometimes people just don’t know how to react to someone with disability.we are not at all trained in anyway to cope with or be a help to someone who is having certain disability.so make allowance for them raghava!
keep writing to teach us!
Do you think those HR personnel asked any wrong questions in the interview Or you took them wrongly? They might be checking your own comfort level with visual impairment and testing your boldness, confidence and zeal to work. They might wanted to know your reactions to those questions and how you would fit into their work environment. When they thrown problems at you, you could have come up with solutions. I know it is not easy as it seems while reading or writing this. But if you wants them to treat you normal, feel normal and show them why and how.
I always wondered why some people get physical disability, the only answer I could get by myself is “Everybody has at least one great quality which makes him/her unique in this world. So when god can not put and fit those gem qualities and abilities into an individual or you can say abilities overflowed , he has to takeout something so that in overall person remains neutral”. So disability in something makes us enable to do something we are able of.
I know two girls who can not speak and partially deaf. I observed the one as silent and she didn’t make friends and do not try to communicate. The other one was so talky that she would make friends easily and she would go to any lengths when she wanted to communicate. I used to talk her by signs and writing on the paper.
Once I met her on road and when I dint get what she was trying to say by her signs and we don’t have a paper to write. She did not show disappoints. She just bent down and started writing on the sand and so I started responding her. I observed that people around were looking at us strangely but my friend was very comfortable and didn’t care about others and so I. After sometime people stopped staring and moved on when they understand how easily we can talk. She showed that she can speak to others despite of being mute, and so she is not mute anymore. She showed that she is not different than us and that helps me to treat her normal.
So the issue is not being overweight, just feeling and making others believe that I am overweight. The moment I start feeling light inside as feather I am not overweight anymore. So when somebody comes any say you are overweight I don’t feel bad, as I know how light I am. So when one wants to fight darkness, don’t stand against it as it can not give you anything more than darkness itself, just make light your friend and you can see the sun shining in the sky no matter if other can’t see what you see 🙂 so keep seeing
I agree with your thoughts but what I went through in those interview rooms was out right discrimination. I am comfortable talking about my disability, but after 50interviews I can figure out the genuine HR professional who wants to hire me in spite of my disability & the HR who is going to put me through another stressful time.