Motivating the Hearing Impaired
On January 31, Amar Douglas, Junie Williams and Miguel Hines representing the kitchen, housekeeping and grounds department respectively of the resort, participated in the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf’s career day at the Montego Bay campus.
Sharing their own experiences in the working world, the three hearing impaired employees sought to engage the young adults between the ages of 15 to19, that they too can become gainfully employed, given the right attitude and skills to perform their assigned tasks. The presentation was well received and inspired the group to view the hospitality industry as a viable career path, despite their disability
Having years of success in hospitality experience amongst them and notable achievements under their belts, Amar, recently named resort employee of the month; Junie, a former runner-up in the resort’s Miss Flagship Talent and Awareness Competition; along with Miguel, encouraged the students to believe in themselves and that everything is achievable through hard work and dedication.
Sandals Resorts Regional Public Relations Manager, Khadine Daley, stated, “The visit to the school was important as many equate the “deaf” to a life of poverty, ostracism and a lack of educational or employment opportunities. Through their own hard work and contribution to the smooth daily operation of the resort, our hearing impaired team members are a continuous source of inspiration and motivation to their fellow team members. With Sandals’ emphasis on training and development, the resort has provided basic training in sign language which facilitates the communication process at the resort.”
The outreach activity is one the resort’s Tourism in Schools Programme which seek to build awareness and provide information on the various avenues of employment which exist in the hospitality industry.
Managing Director of the Centre, Donville Jones, concurred and noted that, “Our students receive HEART Trust/NTA fully certified vocational training. Some of the programmes include food preparation and some of our graduates work in the hotel industry. I am very proud of the students who are now hired at the various Sandals Resorts and are able to perform well.”
The Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD)has three campuses located in Kingston, Mandeville and Montego Bay and was established in 1958 to cater to hearing impaired students from pre-school to the high school level. It is an independent institution, but receives support from the Government to pay salaries.
Sandals Resorts currently employees several hearing impaired workers who continue to function effectively and efficiently within the workplace.