Carl enjoys supporting other people with impairments. His hearing impairment does not stand in the way of him wanting to find a job.
I had the pleasure of meeting Carl Johanson at a recent workshop in Hamilton with some of the workers who have signed up to the Mycare platform. When I arrived Carl was teaching another participant how to sign her name. Carl was born profoundly deaf but he has not let this stop him pursuing a passion for working and connecting with his local community.
Carl is the main caregiver for his wife who was born with Cerebral Palsy, and who is also deaf. By his own account, he has become quite good at housework during his marriage. His passion for helping people has lead him to volunteer at Arts and Craft workshops, as an exercise buddy and helping with people with their shopping. He has also pursued his Level 2, Health and Wellbeing qualification, with the hope of finding work in care and support.
Carl’s perfect job would be assisting people in the community to be more active, whether this is walking, just getting outdoors or a game of basketball. Although he is quite handy with a vacuum cleaner, can change light bulbs and is a whizz in the garden.
Carl says that the biggest challenge for him in finding work is not his deafness, but people’s perception that because he is deaf he has an intellectual disability or cannot talk. He says the fact that he is deaf should not put people off. Over the years Carl has found many ways to communicate with hearing people including interpretative dance, although he is quite proficient at lip reading and carries a notebook with him everywhere.
Carl’s advice for hearing people is to not be afraid to work with people who are profoundly deaf, or have any other hearing impairment. He says that not being able to sign should not be an obstacle or stop you from saying hello.
Meeting Carl has had us here at Mycare thinking about the different ways that we communicate with our communities, and how what works for one person might not work for another. By taking the time to listen to Carl we have put on our thinking caps and have come up with some great ideas to communicate with one another.
Part of this is an undertaking by members of the Mycare team during New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) week to learn to sign, so at the very least we can say hello and introduce ourselves. If you are interested in learning NZSL you can find some great tutorials at Learn NZSL.
If you would like to connect with Carl, you can find him and other workers at www.mycare.co.nz
Mycare’s Customer Success Team is here to help you find the support you need when times are tough. Simply call 0800 677 700, or email [email protected].
About the author: Amy Stone is Mycare's Customer Experience Manager.