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Workforces that are disability-inclusive clearly enhance the corporate culture.

Last week, I went to my local Amazon Hub to pick up my package of books…but they couldn’t locate my boxes. There was some confusion, paging, and calling of management to try and find my boxes. And then, I noticed something that would change the rest of my day…

A sign on the counter stopped me in my tracks: “Hello. I’m Deaf. Please have patience while I assist you”.

It turns out that the woman assisting me was deaf like me. Talk about things coming full circle! Ironically, I’m here picking up my books, and my chapter is about my journey as a deaf woman. If interested, you can read more about that here.

By this point, the supervisor had come over to try and help, and she had her boss on the phone. However, the store was noisy, and the phone had a poor connection. I couldn’t make out a word. What was I supposed to do?

The younger Lori would have been afraid to ask for help.

These days though, I’m not insecure and am proud to say, “I am deaf and cannot hear you. Can you please assist me?”

While the supervisor went back to talking to the boss and finding my boxes, the employee and I shared a smile and a whole conversation about our journeys, where we went to school, our families, and more!

It’s time to stop labeling ourserves as we have so much to offer the world and the workforce.

To see another individual like me doing her job, serving her customers, being authentic, and surrounded by a team that treats her with respect, is a heartwarming feeling.

We never know another person’s story or journey but watching this one unfold in front of me reminded me to continue being authentic, which will continue to allow others to be as well.

Authentic connections were made that day. Empathetic conversations were held. Access was delivered. Loyalty will continue. Leaders like this are leading. Staying true to yourself is the most transformational gift you can give the world. Amazon proved that being in a place of belonging is the new customer loyalty, A gift worth giving.