In support of Deaf Awareness Week we challenged Connor Burrows, Operations Controller here at Natilik, to wear noise cancelling headphones for a whole day whilst continuing on with his usual day to day tasks. He then reported back to us on how it made him feel, his reliance on Webex Teams, and the attitudes of those around him.
HOW DID YOU FEEL INITIALLY? I.E. DID YOU FEEL IT WOULD BE EASY AND NOT MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE TO THE RUNNING OF YOUR DAY, OR WERE YOU APPREHENSIVE?
My initial thoughts were that it would be easy, and it wouldn't effect my day to day tasks massively. For that reason I wasn't apprehensive, but instead was looking forward to putting myself in the shoes of someone who is hard of hearing.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FIRST PUT THE HEADPHONES ON- VULNERABLE? ISOLATED?
When I first put them on I felt isolated from my colleagues straight away. I was no longer able to talk/socialise with those around me and I had to immediately start relying on WebexTeams etc to communicate.
DID THESE FEELINGS CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE DAY?
As the day went on I continued to feel more isolated, especially during lunch. A massive part of why I enjoy working at Natilik is the culture, and my reduced hearing meant that I was no longer able to talk/socialise as I normally would.
DID YOU FIND THAT PEOPLES ATTITUDES TOWARDS YOU CHANGED KNOWING THAT YOU COULDN'T COMMUNICATE WITH THEM AS EASILY?
I noticed that I received a lot less questions than I normally would throughout the day, both in relation to work and socially. For example, I wasn't able to explain some specific information surrounding a quote as effectively as I usually would, or ask/talk about the weekend just gone with my colleagues.
HOW MUCH DID YOU RELY ON WEBEX TEAMS TO COMMUNICATE?
Teams was essential and I wouldn't have been able keep up with the demands of my job without it. It meant that I was able to communicate with my colleagues in the same manner as I usually would (in terms of speed of reply and tone of voice). This meant that I chose Teams over email for day to day conversation, because it allowed me to get the information I required extremely quickly. The visibility of when someone has read my message also gave me the reassurance that sending an email doesn't, as they can so easily slip under the radar.
WITHOUT WEBEX TEAMS, WOULD YOUR DAY HAVE BEEN SLOWED DOWN?
Without Webex Teams I wouldn't have been able to complete most of my tasks for the day. I work to tight SLA's and sometimes email is not quick enough to get me the answers I need to meet the requirements of our customers.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GOT TO TAKE THEM OFF?
The ability to join in with the surrounding conversations significantly approved my mood, I'm a very social person and found it difficult to not interact with my colleagues.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how your business can utilise collaboration technology to support the deaf community, then contact us to hear back from one of our collaboration specialists.
Laura Keen, Marketing Executive