WorkingNation sat down with Popkey at 2022 Disability:IN Conference in Dallas.
Popkey recounts that TD Bank introduced a sign language interpreter role in 2005. “I joined in that role in 2006. I wasn’t really there to support customers, but in fact, our deaf colleagues.”
“It was a fascinating experience because we could provide more inclusion and accessibility on a day-to-day basis by having an in-house interpreter, instead of trying to book externally for one-off events,” says Popkey.
She learned the importance of inclusion about six months into her role as interpreter. “We had a new team manager supporting one of our deaf colleagues and their teams. She had been with the company at least a dozen years already.”
Typically, interpreters had not been brought in for small team huddles. Popkey says at the end of the meeting, the manager asked the colleague about her weekend. “She told this fantastic story and her colleagues really heard her for the first time. I saw a group of people look at her, physically look at her, but also see her for the first time.”