For ER radiology technician Paul Petter, hearing loss had simply become a fact of life. After an infection ruptured his right ear drum more than 20 years ago, he underwent multiple restorative surgeries, but nothing seemed to help.
Despite his impaired hearing, Paul was able to perform his duties as a radiology technician by relying partially on his ability to read lips. He joined the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine team almost three years ago. But when COVID-19 forced his ER colleagues to wear face masks, Paul’s job suddenly became much more difficult.
With the support of his team and Baylor Scott & White’s ADA office, he applied for a hearing aid through the Texas Workforce Commission.
Today, Paul is proud to continue his day-to-day work in the ER with significantly improved hearing — and grateful for the support of his colleagues for making it possible.
Paul’s story is just one of nearly 700 self-identified people with disabilities employed across the Baylor Scott & White Health system.
2020 Disability Equality Index
In recognition of its diverse workforce, Baylor Scott & White Health has been recognized in the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
This distinction places the organization among the top eight scoring healthcare systems in the U.S. and the only in Texas to be recognized as a top scorer.
Related: Why diversity matters in healthcare
“Having a diverse workforce is central to our ability to effectively care for the communities we serve,” said Guwan Jones, chief diversity officer for Baylor Scott & White Health. “We place high priority on fostering environments built on inclusion and respect — where people of all backgrounds and experiences are valued for their unique contributions.”
To that end, Baylor Scott & White works with a number of groups to provide job training and readiness programs, including:
- Project SEARCH®: An international program, developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, that provides work preparation for young people with intellectual and development disabilities. As a total workplace immersion program, participants close to transitioning from high school to adult life experience a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and hands-on-training. Baylor Scott & White offers nine-to-12 month programs on its campuses in Plano, Lakeway, College Station and Brenham.
- Canine Companions for Independence®: A non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Canine Companions for Independence at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus opened as the first assistance dog training center campus in the nation connected to a healthcare system.
- My Possibilities’ LaunchAbility Academy: This program offers a combination of onsite direct work experience and workplace culture, etiquette and behavior training (also known as soft skills) to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Programs are facilitated on Baylor Scott & White campuses in Dallas, Fort Worth and Grapevine.
- Texas Workforce Commission’s Summer Earn and Learn (SEAL): SEAL, a Vocational Rehabilitation Services program, offers paid summer employment opportunities to students with disabilities through work-based learning opportunities. The goal is to provide foundational employment skills and better prepare students with disabilities for a successful transition to postsecondary education and employment. These learning opportunities are offered on Baylor Scott & White campuses in Fort Worth, Temple and Waco.
The Disability Equality Index (DEI), first launched in 2015, is recognized as the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates. The DEI, now in its sixth year, exists to help business impact the unemployment/underemployment of people with disabilities, allowing America’s leading corporations to self-report their disability policies and practices. DEI measures an organization’s culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices, community engagement, supplier diversity and non-U.S operations.
Baylor Scott & White is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and provides reasonable accommodation in its application process for qualified candidates with disabilities and veterans with disabilities. Learn more about our accommodations for people with disabilities.
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About the author
This content has been written or reviewed by a member of the Baylor Scott & White Health medical staff.