CIA.gov Spotlights Deaf and Hard of Hearing Officers
In honor of National Deaf History Month (March 13 –April 15), CIA.gov is spotlighting the contributions of deaf and hard of hearing officers to the Agency’s mission.
Jane is a support officer who has worked at the Agency for 25 years. Mike is a logistics officer who started at the CIA on September 10, 2001 - the day before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They have both found exciting and satisfying careers at the CIA.
CIA.gov: What type of work do you do at the CIA?
Jane: I work for the Directorate of Intelligence and provide administrative support to the CIA mission.
Mike: I am a Logistics Officer for the Directorate of Support. I provide transportation, shipping and inventory services and other forms of support. All these activities support the Agency’s mission of keeping the nation safe.
CIA.gov: Why did you choose to work for the CIA?
Jane: I chose CIA because I wanted opportunities to develop new skills. I knew that at CIA I would have many different roles during my career, and that I would be able to do things not available in private industry. I know that my contributions and abilities have made a positive impact on the Agency’s mission and outside the Agency.
Mike: I wanted to serve my country, but I couldn't join the military because of my hearing loss. I found that I could serve my country at CIA, and my hearing loss didn’t make me ineligible.
CIA.gov: What is the most challenging part of working at the CIA?
Jane: The most challenging part of working at CIA is delivering top quality work to our customers so they can make well informed decisions. I really feel this responsibility because I know those decisions affect our national security.
Mike: The most challenging part of working here at CIA is dealing with different kinds of people with diverse backgrounds.
CIA.gov: What is the most rewarding part of working at CIA?
Jane: I love to travel around the country with the recruitment program. I share CIA’s mission stories with students and encourage them to join CIA.
Mike: For me, the most rewarding part of working here at CIA is the same thing that is the most challenging - dealing with different kinds of people with different backgrounds. The rewarding part is that we all have the same goal of providing the best service to protect our country, and everyone works their hardest to get the job done - even if it means traveling away from our loved ones.
CIA.gov: What Agency resources are available to you as a deaf or hard of hearing employee?
Jane: The Agency provides adaptive technology that allows me to produce excellent work for our customers. It also provides sign language interpreting service and reasonable accommodations so I can communicate with colleagues and customers.
Mike: The Agency provided a teletypewriter (TTY) device, Captel phone, sign language interpreting service and computers for me to communicate with our staff and people outside the Agency.
CIA.gov: What is something you have done at the Agency that you never thought possible before?
Jane: I never thought I would be able to participate in recruitment programs. I also never thought I would develop my skill sets to work in different areas in the Agency. It’s exciting to be able to continue developing new skills.
Mike: When I was growing up, I never thought that I would travel all around the world. Now, I have the opportunity to travel overseas and experience other cultures. Plus, I bring back an understanding of those cultures that advances the Agency’s mission.
CIA.gov: What kind of career advice would you give job candidates?
Jane: Be passionate about serving the country and remember that you’re providing security and freedom for every American.
Mike: Work hard, enjoy the job, and be thankful for the opportunity to serve and keep our country safe.