Technology has been Emmanuel’s passion since he was very young. Over the years, with the support of DOR, he has honed his skills by interning with companies like Cisco and IBM as a computer programmer.
Emmanuel: When I was younger I’ve been interested in technology and I still remember this today. My mom also reminds me and tells stories about this. When I was young I didn’t want to play with toys. Like when she got me a toy typewriter I refused it. I said no I want a real typewriter. And then she realized that I like real life adult things rather than actual toys from a toy store. I’ve also experimented with electronics around the house. My father had purchased wires and circuit boards and I tried to make my own circuits. The Youth Leadership Forum that I attended when I was younger, one of the speakers said, “Don’t let your disability put you down.” And I never did – keep moving forward and don’t give up just because you have a disability.
My manager understands that I need extra time to finish a project on my own because I only type with two to three fingers even though I have two hands. But it’s only functional with two or three fingers. I do take longer but I take the time out of my own schedule to accommodate for that so I’m not being held back because of any disability.
There is no special quick way for individuals with disabilities. A lot of people make the wrong assumption thinking that somebody with a disability gets a job much easier than an individual without a disability. That’s not always true.
We still have to go through the standard procedures related to the company and not just be able to jump through the hoops and be hired versus the rest of the line behind you. Accommodations come after you’re given the job offer. I’ve done interviews for a company as well as being interviewed myself. Employers realize the value that as long as you have the knowledge and the brain power that’s the most important – and everything else can be accommodated.