Deaf community applauds Amazon’s move to hire ASL interpreters

KAMC News

LUBBOCK, Texas– In another progressive move for the tech giant, Amazon began hiring ASL interpreters and members of the deaf community in Lubbock applauded the move.

The preferably certified interpreters would provide ASL interpreting services to Amazon applicants, candidates or employees who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

“Because they work there, they already know the company’s policies. They know their codes. They know their processes,” said Lori Mallory, an American Sign Language instructor at Texas Tech University. “If they hire someone, they are able to fit in easily to interpret and get that process done quickly.”

Matt Sickon, a member of the deaf community, said they can already do their jobs effectively, but having interpreters would open up communication for the rest of the company. 

“With other companies, sometimes when they get their resume, they look at and find out they are deaf,” Sickon said.

As a result, he said this causes companies to toss aside the application.

“Now with Amazon, they kind of solved that,” he said. “They brought in a sign language interpreter that is full-time staff.” 

Interpreters could prepare with a deaf individual ahead of an interview, learning the lingo and background of the applicant. During the interview, this helps clarify the intentions and qualifications of the applicants and eliminates hiccups, Mallory said.

As Amazon lays the stones for other businesses to follow,  Sickon and Mallory encouraged businesses of the South Plains to open the door to this idea.

“A large percentage of deaf people are unemployed because of the barriers they experience, and they have for quite a long time,” she said. “Maybe these openings will create other opportunities, as well, that will benefit hearing and deaf people.”

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