CNCF Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group promotes inclusivity in tech by offering a level playing field

CNCF Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group promotes inclusivity in tech by offering a level playing field

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As technological innovations continue taking the world by storm, an inclusive IT industry is critical, because diversity is a game-changer.

Since individuals are gifted differently, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group ensures that no one is left out in the ever-changing technology field by presenting equal opportunities, according to Rob Koch (pictured, right), principal, data engineering at Slalom Inc. and co-chair of the CNCF Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group.

“We thought, ‘Why not maybe include and make things more inclusive and friendly to folks like us?’” Koch said. “We have a deaf professional Slack group, and we had sent out different messages and asked who was on it. We asked Destiny to join, asked me to join and a few other folks to join. There was a lot of enthusiasm behind that. We’ve got some other ideas for the future to kind of expand … all the kids that code and with DeafKidsCode as well.”

Koch and Destiny O’Connor (left), co-chair of the CNCF Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group, spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Savannah Peterson at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how the CNCF Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group is changing the stakes in the technology field by fostering inclusivity. (* Disclosure below.)

Making tech more accessible to all

To enable more people to jump on the technology bandwagon irrespective of a person’s background, history or condition, promoting inclusive tech education is vital, according to O’Connor. As a result, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group boosts deaf coders’ passions by advocating for accessibility and embracing diversity.

“With, we’re under the accessibility page,” O’Connor said. “If you’re looking for anything deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-related, we are providing a lot of resources there and recommendations of what to do, basically, just educating all of them more and offering different suggestions. Everything is there, so you can use that as a resource. Since we’ve been here, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve put it all there … so it’s really been amazing.”

Since the group empowers the deaf and hard-of-hearing community not just in the cloud sector, but also in other tech fields, the idea is that everyone should be represented from the majority, minority all the way to those who are gifted differently, according to O’Connor. Confidence is also important for community members to be successful in the tech world, she added.

“I would say, ‘Do it.’ If someone says, ‘Oh no, it’s impossible. You can’t do that,’ just go for it,” O’Connor said. “Whatever you say, whatever you want to do, go for it and we will support you. If you’re looking for other deaf and hard-of-hearing in tech, find us. We are there .. so just 100%, go for it.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA. Neither Red Hat Inc. and CNCF, the main sponsors of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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