by Priyanka Agarwal, a PwD (Person with Disability) employee with a visual disability based in IBM India.
I work as a Team leader for Secondary Control over the Activation/Deactivation Team in Strategic Outsource Delivery Business unit in India. I have been with IBM over four years and learned different processes and technology. Here is my experience as a PwD (Person with Disability) employee with a visual disability (partially blind) at IBM.
Recently I had an opportunity to travel to Dubai for our new Global Recruitment Campaign Video shoot. When I heard the news, I was very excited. This would be my first international travel, and I was very thrilled. However, there were a lot of questions in my mind too. I knew there was extra support required to enable me to travel alone to a new and unfamiliar environment. It was a two-day trip, and I had a mesmerizing experience. IBM took care of my accommodations and logistics and ensured that the airline ground staff provided me with an escort to complete all formalities and help me board the flight. Before the shoot, I was both nervous and excited. The campaign team was very enthusiastic and supportive. It was their first experience shooting with a person with visual disability and my first time at a photoshoot. The challenge was to get the perfect right eye contact with the camera. We achieved this by talking to each other. The cameraman gave me voice instructions which helped me focus until we got that perfect look. Today when I look back I realized we all had implemented one of the core values of IBM “Trust in personal responsibility in all relationships”.
Just like with work back home, my co-workers support me whenever required. I am given equal opportunities and responsibilities with same the level of expectations and excellence. We share our expertise to upskill an individual thus building a strong team.
This is my own testament of how IBM promotes an inclusive work environment for differently-abled employees, which I also find true for all irrespective of gender, sex or race and color. Because of this, I am able to carry out the co-leader role for the group of differently-abled employees in India, a group that encourages me to pick larger responsibilities and challenge the myths of others. Through my exposure here, I was able to identify my hidden leadership skills and explore new career options for me.
I can truly say that IBM is an ocean of opportunities where one can learn and grow and live his/her dream career, regardless of who you are or what limitations you may have.
IBM has always provided an accessible environment, in order for me to perform my job and be at my best.
Thank you, IBM, for redefining the notion of disability.
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