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Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Tech Savvy: (Brian Doane, Computer Analyst)

9 minutes

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Brian Doane, Computer Analyst.

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It's important for me to be first as their father. I want to be able to understand what my kids are saying.

What's important to me in communicating with my kids is that we have a whole world ahead of us.

That's important that we can actually have a conversation and understand each other. So if I want to tell them about these little bugs, where they're from, that they're doing. These little bugs are working together. And my little girl is looking at me. She's using my hand. She's receptive of it. She is receptive of hearing things, too. So I am going to give her all that information. What I have learned, what my parents have taught me, my family have taught me, I want to pass that on to my kids as well. So that's important to me.

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NARRATOR: Brian Doane works for Walgreens pharmacy chain, the nation's largest private user of satellite technology.

The job is with the IT operations. What we're responsible and watching for is making sure that the heart of the company-- the computer systems are already running because we have stores that are open and they're running 24 hours a day, too, the company needs one 24 hours a day. And with the total number of 4,500 store across the United States, it's important to get all this information to all these stores. So we are there to monitor the systems, and make sure that it doesn't crash or an application breaks down.

The quality of Brian's work has been fantastic. He has not let his deafness get in the way or challenge him. He's very productive in the way he works, and fits in very well with his coworkers. On a personal level, Brian is very motivated. Brian is very detail-oriented, and just does a very good job at what he does.

NARRATOR: On the job, Brian uses simultaneous communication with his deaf colleagues, which involves using speech and sign language.

When working with his hearing colleagues, he relies on his cochlear implant and speech reading to communicate. In addition to his work responsibilities, Brian conducts presentations on being deaf in the workplace.

Like myself-- I'm wearing a cochlear implant. In a big meeting group, that's going to be a challenge because if I'm watching one person, and someone's already talking, I may know it. But I'm going to have to eventually get to that point and understand what they're talking about, and may have missed the important two or three words that he had already said. I didn't know what the topic was about. So what's important for me in a big meeting is I'm going to carry in a ball into the meeting, and tell them from now on, if anyone has something to say, like, if you were raising your hand, throw that ball to that other person, so I can catch who was talking then. So that has helped in the meetings like that.

NARRATOR: Brian, one of four children in a hearing family, lost most of his ability to hear from a high fever at an early age. Bryan's parents realized that something was different.

When I was about 2 years old, my mother noticed I wasn't talking. And so she decided to take me to the doctor. And the doctor was checking. I had to go in for an audiogram. So we went in for the audiogram. And that's when they found out that I had a hearing loss.

NARRATOR: As Brian grew up and attended school, he sat in front of the class to lip read his teachers, and used hearing aids to distinguish sounds and words. In college, he continued to speech read his instructors. But he also learned sign language, and was able to use interpreters to assist him in classes.

Let me check out what RIT is, so I wanted to check out RIT. And I'm in love with the campus-- the way the education is already set for you. They have the interpreter there. There are note takers there. And tutors are there. So if I need any support for a big environment-- for a big college like that, that's where I decided to go to. I finished with my bachelor's degree in IT. Three months later, I got an interview with J.D. Edwards.

And I got hired. And I worked for the company for five years. And knowing that some of the technology companies out there are starting to downsize, I got let go. So I accepted it-- to go through the emotions-- what's next? There was one time in an experience that I had a phone call from a company that places people to work. And I had them on the relay service. Then I told them that I'm deaf. And they said, ah, ah-- hung up on me. And I was like frustrated. Why did that they-- That was a turning point of my life, like, whoa. Let's make a change. I got to educate these people to know that being deaf should not stop them from doing the work. I started to roll up my sleeve. And then I went through a job agency. Finally, I got in with Walgreens right there.

NARRATOR: Brian's position at Walgreens requires that he work 12-hour shifts three or four days a week. This flexible work schedule allows him to spend more time at home caring for his three hearing daughters. Brian wanted to clearly hear the kids, read stories, and hear them talk, so he investigated the possibilities of a cochlear implant.

The CI is not necessarily the answer to everything. You will hear a little bit more. But it's going to take work for long time-- work-- to finally be able to pick up, if you want to be able to understand any human person without actually looking. So it's a matter of really being perseverent, to work with training, reading, listening to audio tapes and a book. And you really have to work at it.

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In my house with the twins, they have to go to bed. I put them to bed. So when my twins are talking, the rest of my house that are plugged in with light bulbs, we will see that it blinks. And we know that if it blinks one or two times, we know that they're just talking with each other. But if they're upset or crying about something, it will blink, blink, blink, blink all the time. Then we will know we will have to go and help them through this.

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Not go to sleep. But wake up. My proudest accomplishment is my family--

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[SMOOCHING] my wife--

my three girls.

I'm meeting the people that I think that I will succeed in life, and go on, and make an impact in their life, too. So that's important to me-- try to give that impact to them, and what I can contribute in life. I am who I am. I represent me.

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My name is Brian, so I'm not deaf, or hearing, or hard of hearing. That's who I am. That's what I want to grow up-- that's how I want to influence the people in my life. It's important to me.

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In this segment, Brian Doane discusses his role as a computer analyst for Walgreens Pharmacy. He is responsible for making sure the computer system is always working. He also has to use various methods of communication within the company and conducts training sessions on being deaf in the work place. In these sessions, he helps develop effective communication methods for all employees. Part of the "Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Tech Savvy! (Vol. 4)" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 9 minutes

Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 1
36 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 2
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 3
9 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 4
10 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 5
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 6
27 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 7
32 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 8
8 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 9
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 10
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12