AZ Commissioner for Deaf and Hard of Hearing gives advice to employers

Today, October 31st, is the last day of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The goal of NDEAM is to promote resources for employees with disabilities and their employers. Ted Simmons of Arizona PBS recently interviewed Pv Jantz about resources offered by the Arizona Commission of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. Jantz, who is deaf, says employers shouldn’t assume what type of accommodation a new co-worker needs. The best approach is to ask the employee what they prefer as an individual. Workers with disabilities tend to be experts on which accommodations best fit their individual needs. Jantz also recommends the website www.AskJAN.org (the Job Accommodation Network) as a resource for employers and employees with disabilities.

Deaf chef uses laser pointers, notepad and hand signals to communicate orders

David Uzzell is a deaf chef at Marcel’s, a high-end restaurant in Washington D.C. Uzzell and his colleagues use laser pointers, hand signals and a notepad to communicate meal orders and discuss kitchen operations. NPR reporter Kristin Hartke interviewed Uzzell and his boss Robert Wiedmaier about Uzzell’s work and creativity. “I couldn’t have hired David if he had no taste or sense of smell. Being deaf hasn’t stopped him from being a damn good chef,” Wiedmaier said.

2017 Disability Equality Index shows improvement

The 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI) reports U.S. businesses are increasing efforts to recruit employees with disabilities. Click here to read the full article by Kellie Ell in USA Today. An excerpt: “With the help of the Index, more companies are integrating online chat features for deaf and hard-of-hearing employees, guide dogs for blind workers, internal company affinity groups, external recruitment efforts, hiring goals and retention and advancement policies for people with disabilities into the work place.”