Career Mix with Torin Ellis
LCI President Jeffrey Hawting was featured on SiriusXM as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Torin Ellis, host of the radio show Career Mix, highlighted the work we do at LCI to remove barriers and provide opportunities for people of all abilities.
Click on this YouTube link or the video player below. Closed captions are available in the video player and the full transcript is available below.
The SiriusXM radio show Career Mix with Torin Ellis celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with a variety of interview segments highlighting how people with disabilities work and thrive. LCI President Jeffrey Hawting was one of those guests. Jeffrey shared how LCI leads with intentionality when it comes to providing opportunities.
“We really do focus on looking at every job and saying, can someone who is blind do that job, and if we hear ourselves say no, then we really do challenge ourselves and say, have we been creative enough, have we thought this through, have we asked the person who is blind, how would they do it.”
According to the American Foundation For The Blind, just 44 percent of people who are blind or visually impaired are employed. Torin was interested in how LCI employees who are blind work alongside employees who are not. Jeffrey explained that LCI is very competitive and attracts the best talent. “Almost half of our employees are blind or visually impaired but they are working side by side every day with other employees who do not have a visual impairment, who are fully sighted.” Jeffrey explained that LCI has people at all spectrums of the company who are differently abled. “Our Vice President of Business Development has a visual impairment. We have people running our Base Supply Stores, we have people in distribution, people in our manufacturing plant, people in customer service, finance, human resources who are blind or low vision.”
When discussing how to create a positive working environment for employees who are blind, Jeffrey explained that one of the biggest challenges is around software and ensuring it is accessible. ”We’ve created our own digital accessibility practice because we knew the only way we could really tackle this issue was to do it ourselves.” Jeffrey went on to explain that accessible technology is put to use throughout the company. “In our distribution center we use a thing called Vocollect which is really a pic to voice technology where someone who is blind can wear a headset, have a scanning device on their arm and they can use that very effectively to pick and pack orders.”
Jeffrey left the listening audience with a challenge to rethink the word disability. “Let’s think of three words, disappointment, disintegration, dissolution. Any word that has dis in front of it, do you ever feel positive about those words? I don’t. I would love to drop that dis all together, get rid of it and focus on the ability. Because that’s what it’s really all about; focusing on the ability of every unique human who comes to work with us or who wants to work with us.”
Click here to read the full transcript of the interview.