International Day of Persons with Disabilities – Featured Damar colleagues and apprentices

To celebrate the International day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, we are delighted to share some stories from colleagues and apprentices in our Damar family. We are proud of the contribution made by all of our colleagues and apprentices and thank Jenny, Mark, Neil and Odran for sharing your experiences – you are an inspiration to us all!

 

Jenny Gunther – Medical Administration Trainer at Damar

 

  1. What is your current role?

Medical Administration Trainer at Damar.

 

  1. Do you have a disability?

Yes – I’m deaf and wear hearing aids in both ears.

 

  1. What does your role involve and how long have you been working at your company?

Training and assessing students. I started here in February 2016.

 

  1. Does your disability affect your day-to-day life?

Only when my ears are infected as I can’t wear my hearing aids.

 

  1. Has your employer made any adjustments to your role or the workplace to help you perform better?

No.

 

  1. What do you enjoy most about your role?

The students – being there as not only their trainer but as someone they can talk to and relate to. I love giving back to them what I know.

 

  1. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Hanging out with family – going out for meals and the cinema. I also like building websites and baking.

 

Mark Cook – administraton assistant at Damar, Damar’s Mark Aspinall Award winner 2009 and former business administration apprentice

 

  1. What is your current role?

I am currently an administration assistant at Damar working with Andrea and Georgia on reception.

 

  1. Do you have a disability?

I know I have Downs Syndrome but don’t consider it to be a severe disability. It doesn’t affect me in any way. I can go about my day-to-day life with little trouble.

 

  1. What does your role involve and how long have you been working at your company?

I started in 2005 and my duties are printing, photocopying, database work and filing.

 

  1. Does your disability affect your day-to-day life?

Overall, no. I am deaf in one ear but have been since birth.

 

  1. Has your employer made any adjustments to your role or the workplace to help you perform better?

No, not really.

 

  1. What do you enjoy most about your role/apprenticeship?

Meeting new people.

 

  1. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any interesting hobbies?

I love watching films and going to the cinema.

 

Odran Nelson - Insolvency Administrator at NTF Financial Solutions Limited, Damar’s Mark Aspinall Award winner 2015 and former Customer Service Apprentice

Odran receiving his certificate for his customer service apprenticeship

 

1.       What is your current role?

        I am an Insolvency Administrator at NTF Financial Solutions Limited in Wilmslow.

 

2.       Do you have a disability?

         I am hard of hearing.

 

3.       What does your role involve?

In my role, I conduct wage reviews for debtors who are on an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) and draft reports. I have been working here for two and half years.

 

4.        Does your disability affect your day-to-day life?

It does every now and then when I can’t hear my colleagues properly in the office.

 

5.    Has your employer made any adjustments to your role or the workplace to help you perform better?

My manager has made it easier for me by making sure I have fully understood what is required by every assigned task and she will repeat the conversation if I do not hear it properly.

 

6.       What do you enjoy most about your role?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is the mathematics involved in the wage reviews. I also enjoy the challenge of talking to difficult debtors and helping them to resolve their problems.

 

7.     What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any interesting hobbies?​

I enjoy keeping fit and travelling. For example, I recently took part in a 10K run in Dubai and I returned there at the end of November. I also make regular trips to London and enjoy sightseeing and catching up with friends. 

 

Neil Williams – Medical Administration Assistant at Alvanley Family Practice, Damar’s Mark Aspinall Award winner 2016 and current Medical Administration Apprentice

Neil Williams (centre) receiving Damar’s Mark Aspinall Award 2016 with his Damar trainer, Ellie Taylor (left) and workplace supervisor, Kay Ellermeyer (right)

 

 

1.       What is your current role?

Medical Administration Assistant at Alvanley Family Practice in Stockport.

 

2.       Do you have a disability?

I do. I have a rare progressive degenerative neuro-muscular condition named Friedreich's ataxia which has spawned a whole host of other problems such as Scoliosis and a high risk of heart disease among others.

 

3.       What does your role involve?

I deal with front desk and ‘behind-the-scenes’ administration work at a medical centre. My duties include: organising medications, ordering repeat prescriptions, registering new patients and administrating patients who are no longer with the practice. I also sort the post and deal with collections of confidential waste and other pick-ups. Other tasks include scanning and, ordering stationary and NHS supplies. In addition to all of this, I provide technical support to the team, resolving technical problems and coding. My role keeps me busy!

 

4.     Does your disability affect your day-to-day life?

It does. I use a wheelchair and it affects my speech, writing and listening skills.

 

5.    Has your employer made any adjustments to your role or the workplace to help you perform better?

The staff kitchen has been adapted and the fire door pressure has been released to make it lighter.

 

6.       What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy coding and medicine alterations, but most of all, I enjoy working with my colleagues and meeting the patients. 

 

7.     What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any interesting hobbies?​

I play wheelchair basketball.

 

Learn more about Neil here.

 

As you can see from the stories above, disabilities in the workplace are not a barrier to a successful career. Interestingly, according to the charity, Scope, almost 40% of people have avoided a disabled person for fear of saying or doing something wrong. This video takes a light-hearted look at the 'awkwardness' around disabilities that sometimes crops up.

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