How did you get started in your career and what drew you to EDF Energy?
I joined EDF Energy in September 2004 on an apprenticeship scheme after studying Mechanical Engineering at university. Dungeness power station was local for me and provided a good opportunity to widen my skills during my apprenticeship. After 3 years I completed my apprenticeship and qualified as a maintenance technician. I spent 2 years in maintenance before joining the Work Engineering Group.
What are your typical daily responsibilities?
I am now in my 5th year for Work Engineering Group. My main job is to specify Work order cards for technicians and partners; I also create and re-engineer routines for various departments and go to various meeting as the groups representative.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I have been profoundly deaf since birth. I can hear some sounds but have a problem understanding certain levels of noise (different types of alarms, and pronouncement of spoken words) and also general conversation. I have been wearing hearing aids from a young age and rely on lip reading and sign language to aid my communication.
I have attained some equipment at work that made my life easier. I have a talk-by-text phone which lets me communicate with people on-site and off-site with any engineering queries, and more importantly contact my team leader from home. I input text, which is then replayed orally to the receiver of the person I want to contact; this also works in the opposite fashion.
For the majority of the meetings I attend I use a conversor which is a listening device with two components (microphone transmitter & receiver). I also use a pager which will vibrate when there is an alarm on-site to help make me aware of alarms in noisy environments.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
Everyone in my department has attended a whole day deaf awareness training course, and has now gained new communication skills for the workplace. We will have a refresher course in three years time. With the highly professional attitude within EDF Energy, people are very aware of my deafness.
How would you describe the culture at EDF Energy?
These adjustments have allowed my confidence to grow and become more part of the team. EDF Energy rates its diversity culture very highly and the company is always looking to improve upon it.