October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month to commemorate the many contributions of people with disabilities to workplaces and economy. We had the opportunity to interview Dušan Nikolić, Graphic Designer at Delhaize Serbia. He shared some great insight on the importance of raising disability awareness, his own experiences as a deaf person, and how he’d like to keep inspiring others. Read the full interview below:
Can you tell us about yourself?
I’ve worked with the company for over 10 years, and I’m a Graphic Designer. I’ve had a great career and I love my job! Besides work, I have an active role in the community by leading the Belgrade Association of deaf and hard of hearing in Belgrade. I really want to contribute to the improvement of the position of people with disabilities in society. For example, one of the recent projects in which I participated was the creation of the National translation center which enables easier 24-hour communication for deaf people and people hard of hearing, which then contributes to better visibility in society as well.
Why is it important to spread awareness about National Disability Employment Awareness Month?
Delhaize Serbia has recognized people with disabilities as a group for which support is crucial in order to achieve equality and equity in employment. With the strategic approach and active employment policy, many people with disabilities have been employed in Delhaize Serbia. By doing this, the company has contributed to better living conditions to the employed people with disabilities. What has also been recognized as very significant is not only stopping at employment, but importantly having the employer directly receive feedback from employees with disabilities and to receive it often. This way, they can work on better visibility and continuous improvements on the ways of communication.
How would you like to keep inspiring others to do what they love?
I think that it is very important to find and do what we love, to support each other, to work together on always finding new possibilities and innovative solutions as a company. This will make us a more inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. I believe that this is the task of all of us, including myself. At times, I have experienced challenges with communication, which can be harder because I am a deaf person. But with persistence and optimism, along with the support of my colleagues who are always here for me, I am able to pursue my passion and do the work I love.
What career advice do you have for us?
Always be positive and hardworking, and strive to be recognized as a hero to others.