Insper associate Carla Carbone talks about the fight for the definitive recognition of the implementation of LIBRAS and about Insper’s actions for the deaf community
On April 24, we celebrate Brazilian Sign Language Day. The Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS, for its acronym in Portuguese) is used for communication by deaf or hard-of-hearing persons. Inside Insper, the Community is always attentive when welcoming deaf or hard-of-hearing students and professionals. In this context, the school counts on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. It reinforces Insper Community’s goal of becoming a transformation agent for future generations.
Check out the following interview with Carla Carbone, a team member of our Academic Office for Executive Education programs. She shares her work routine with us and talks about the adaptation within Insper to meet her needs, besides reinforcing all the care with our deaf or hard-of-hearing public.
What is your work at Insper about?
I work with educational processes at the Academic Office of Executive Education, performing registrations of courses, campaigns, and students, attendance tracking, and issuance of certificates.
How was the beginning of your journey at the school? Was there any adaptation during this period?
The selection process here was the first in which I participated as a Person With a Disability (PWD). It was so because although my hearing loss is genetic, it developed in adulthood. I have a Master’s in History and had worked in research, translation, and language classes before joining Insper. As I was already having difficulties teaching language classes, I decided to search for a job in the administrative area and as a PWD. But I prioritized the field of education because that is what moves me and what I believe in to make a difference in society.
At first, I applied for a receptionist opening and the HR [department] informed me about the job opening for Insper Experience Assistant in the Graduate and Executive Education programs. They identified it as being more suitable for my educational profile, as I work in the classroom. In the pre-selection form, I remember that there was a question if I would need any particular resource. However, I already use hearing aids that allow me a good level of understanding. Also, I count on equipment that transmits the sounds of computers, telephones, and televisions via Bluetooth. I have no speech impairments; on the contrary, they say in the area that I talk a lot!
How do you see Insper’s preparedness to serve students from the deaf community?
As an Insper Experience Assistant (AEI, for its acronym in Portuguese), my role was to tend to our students and faculty so that they have the best classroom experience. That is why I had contact with a great diversity of students, some with disabilities, others not. The focus was always the same: Understanding their needs. I believe this is essential for any service and communication. Insper’s preparedness to serve PWD students starts with the registration form. In it, they can mention if they have disabilities of any kind and what adaptations are necessary for having them here and for their learning. An example is the availability of a LIBRAS interpreter at free, open to public events.
In my experience with students in the Executive Education program, when someone declares their disability on the registration form and needs assistance, a whole team comes into play to meet those needs in the most appropriate way. The AEI received the information to be ready to serve that student. In the particular case of hard-of-hearing students, I remember three who used hearing aids. When I noticed that, I provided for making communication as clear as possible: Speaking slowly and facing forward, as well as using written resources like paper notes and email communications.
I believe Insper’s structure itself is quite satisfactory, as its rooms have good acoustics. The Harvard-style ones, for instance, are precisely built so that everyone can see each other, and the professors have microphones at their disposal in all rooms. Besides, at the end of each course, we provide an evaluation form in which students can cite problems and suggest improvements. It helps us in the pursuit of excellence for students with disabilities too.
How is your daily work routine and interaction with coworkers?
I have always felt quite comfortable to talk or not about my disability with my coworkers. Since my hearing loss was a gradual and delayed process, I lived with reduced hearing for a few years without getting a diagnosis. I had adapted instinctively, prioritizing written communication or lip reading. Besides, I have lived my whole life with a hard-of-hearing person — my father. He had a very severe hearing loss but never put it as a hindrance.
It was vital to feel the attention of my managers and colleagues to communication. I always ask them to prioritize written communication, especially now that we have to use masks.
What improvements have you seen in recent years?
I have been a member of Insper’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for two years now. Working on the attitudinal front, I got to know better the activities that seek to promote a better understanding of the different types of disabilities and the inclusion of students and associates in general, as well as the attention to better visualization and communication of available assistive technologies and services.
Among the improvements for deaf or hard-of-hearing persons, I highlight:
How do you see these improvements? Were they essential for your day-to-day work?
The most important thing is to be part of an inclusive and diverse institution and feel at ease. I hope we can contribute to expanding this concern with inclusion and accessibility to other institutions, especially in the fields of education and health, to serve society as a whole.
Learn more about the initiatives of the Insper Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
The Center for Public Management and Public Policy: partnership with Oxford strengthens the learning experience at Insper