In the seventh year of a competition organized by the public service organization Tichý svět (“Silent World”) which helps the deaf, Masaryk University won the title Company of the Year. It won the prize for its accommodating approach towards deaf employees that nominated it themselves. In 2014, dozens of sign language users were employed at the university, mostly at the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs (Teiresiás) which is responsible for inclusive education at Masaryk University.
“We appreciate diversity of communication tools that Masaryk University offers to its employees, may it be interpreting for sing language users or simultaneous transcription of speech for employees who prefer Czech,” said the director of Tichý svět, Marie Horáková, about the university's award. Representatives of the university received the award on Wednesday, July 15, in Brno at the Teiresiás Centre on Komenského náměstí 2.
“The university perceives the school environment as unified – those who can study here can also be employed here and vice versa. Masaryk University therefore offers equal opportunities to the deaf as well as to other employees with specific needs. They have the same right, but also the same obligations,” said the MU vice-rector for studies Ivana Černá.
The university was nominated by employees themselves via a video in the Czech sign language where they explain why they think MU deserves this award. “I have been working at the university for ten years already and I find especially great that it offers hearing impaired people opportunities for further professional growth, for example thanks to various language training courses. Sign language users can attend special courses at MU of English or of American sign language,” pointed out Tomáš Sklenák, the head of the visual communication section of Teiresiás, who is also deaf. He added that he then has the chance to use the gained knowledge at international conferences, but also during business trips abroad.
The goal of the Company of the Year competition organized by Tichý svět is to acknowledge companies that give jobs to people with hearing impairment, and to motivate other employers as well. This year, companies that made it into the finals were for example G4S Cash Solutions, Nové Horizonty, Tamtamy, Zelený ostrov and Alza.cz.