For 25 years, the Ramón Rey Ardid Foundation has offered assistance and medical and educational services to the most fragile members of society, such as the disabled, the elderly, children and adolescents, and the long-term unemployed. MANN+HUMMEL Ibérica is one of the most important industrial companies in the Autonomous Community of Aragon, and since 2013, it has participated in some of the foundation’s initiatives focused on the employability of disabled individuals and those at risk of exclusion. Within the framework of this collaboration, I joined the Aftermarket section of the MANN+HUMMEL plant in Zaragoza in October 2014. Although I have a hearing impairment, I have spent the last three years working full time, just like all my colleagues at the plant.
Overcoming communication barriers day by day
Relating to the rest of the personnel was initially the most difficult thing due to my disability, but today, that difficulty has been completely overcome. My colleagues, who have always treated me wonderfully, made it easy for me to join the team. The optimism that I showed from the very start also helped a lot. I am the first deaf employee at MANN+HUMMEL Ibérica, and I can assure you that once communication with the rest of the team is established, I can work in the same efficient manner as any other employee. None of the tasks I do are difficult for me. Since I change positions in the filter production line every hour, the day passes quite pleasantly for me.
I think that my example can be useful for everyone, both for people who have a disability and for those who don’t. Firstly, to motivate them to fight for their rights and to show the world that they are capable. And secondly, to make them see that there aren’t any big differences between us: we also have families that we have to sustain and care for, we share our efforts with our work colleagues, and we enjoy our free time just like anyone else, playing sports, reading, going for walks, or cooking. For example, I am a big fan of hiking and I get on quite nicely in the kitchen. I probably shouldn’t say it, but I make tortillas de patatas (potato omelettes) just so I can suck on my fingers. My colleagues at MANN+HUMMEL Ibérica can confirm that.
Recognition of MANN+HUMMEL Ibérica for its social work
Considering the good results of its collaboration with the Ramón Rey Ardid Foundation and in recognition of its deep-rooted and proven social values, MANN+HUMMEL Ibérica has received various awards from institutions committed to the social integration of groups at risk of exclusion, such as the ONCE Foundation and the “la Caixa” Foundation. A look toward the future foretells new projects and collaborations intended to create a society that is more prosperous, supportive and fair to all.