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Getting Real about Workforce Diversity

Speech transcript on “Real About Diversity” first delivered to the Tri-State Human Resource Management Association Diversity Program (October 26, 2012). Learn more about this keynote & view presentation slides here.

Until I did it for me

I ponder the numbers a lot these days. —25 years of service in human resource management, overseeing employment of thousands of people.  Yet I never came across a job candidate who was deaf or hard of hearing that was apparent or known to me.  And I never, not even once, directed workplace accommodations or otherwise assisted an employee who I knew to be deaf or severely hard of hearing. Of that great honor, I had zero experience.

Until I did it for me! Since losing hearing in June 2010, I served as Vice President of Human Resources and lived the experience in the workplace.  Oh what humble paradox that this was my stock-in-trade!

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FatherWithBabyB

Never Let Go

My Baby’s Pain

I watched in nervous marvel as my baby daughter insisted to venture from crawling to walking undaunted by hundreds of prior failed attempts. Pulling herself up, she stumbles, tilts and bonks her head on the coffee table. Ouch. That one hurt.

Her piercing cry penetrates my very soul.

There is a millisecond flash of stunned confusion on her angelic face as this strange unwelcome thing called ‘pain’ registers in her budding new brain. Then her pure-white innocence twists red as the incomprehensible injustice blooms a stinging discomfort across her blameless forehead. Yow!

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