Blind people are a distinct part of the world’s discrimination. Often, they are seen by society as people with disability who can’t integrate in a normal working environment. This myth is busted by our colleague, Geo, who is part of Medisprof family since August. Geo has shown that it is possible to rise to the level of his colleagues, despite of his sight problems.
Gheorghe Campian, or Geo, as his colleagues call him, is a 25 years old man, married and with 3 children. He lives in Cluj for many years now, like all of those who fell in love with this city and the opportunities it can offer.
During high school, Geo was passionate about meeting new people, participating in cultural projects and festivals. He presented the second edition of Mirage Cultural Festival – a festival focused on the integration of disabled people in the community through theatre, music and dance. Directly after finishing high school, Geo was captivated by journalism and studied at the Faculty of Communication, Administration and Political Sciences at the Babeş Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca) during a year. He was obliged to give up the faculty for financial reasons, but it didn’t stop him from following his objective, of having a normal life and activities which every one of us are doing.
Geo has grown in a society that considers that blind people can only do certain activities, those considered as suitable for disabled people. Thus, many employers consider that blind people aren’t suitable for specific types of jobs and that special working conditions are required, which is complicated to settle. This prejudice is the most important obstacle that a blind person faces. For Geo, this seemed impossible to get over. He felt this in the period during which he was looking for a job and he was called for an interview. He was answering the phone with enthusiasm and was feeling like the voice of the interlocutor was changing every time he was telling that he is blind. It is an aspect that employers can’t face, not even for a simple job.
An optimist always succeeds
He has started a relaxing and anti-cellulite massage class, because the masseur option seemed to be the only suitable and accepted option for the society as being possible to achieve by someone blind. 2014 was going to be the year that Geo was going to cross the societal barrier and earn a secretary job within Medisprof clinic. Here is what Dr. Carolina Udrea, General Manager at Medisprof, said about Geo:
“During the interview, Geo was much more “present” than many other candidates. Decent, calm, oriented, with presence of mind, fine observation to the questions and good answers, interrupted once by his smartphone which says who is calling. Later, Geo has demonstrated that he knows how to work, and his results have opened our eyes to a world for which we have neither time, nor visual and nor mental. I realized that there are people who need our help, that we need their help, but that we don’t know how to put this together, because sometimes, we don’t take our time, and the system condemns them to inexistence. Geo is doing all the tasks of the secretariat with and electronic system for the clinic, which means the hospitalization, the discharge of the day hospital admittances, appointments, medical letters deliverance, primary medical day hospital records, for an approximation of 1130 day hospitalizations per month. He is working 8 hours a day. And he is blind. But I think that he sees all of us better than we do by looking in each other’s eyes.”
Since the summer of 2014, Geo works everyday at Medisprof in “Infoworld” and uses the program “Jaws” in order to help him to read. “I like what I do. How can I do more?” A few years ago, Geo was only looking for a job which would help him integrate into society. A few days after his interview, Geo has done an important step and signed a voluntary contract, at his demand, with the Medisprof Association. Following, a short interview with Geo – Simple answers, wisdom and powerful feelings
1.How did starting working here, at Medisprof, seemed to you and how was your interaction with cancer patients?
It seemed to me that a screen was needed between what I was doing and what is happening around me. On the other hand, the fact that there are patients who come in for a check-up after escaping from cancer gives me a pleasant feeling, and the screen disappears. I was offered to do something else, not only a job for a blind person. I am pleased to do much more than what the world thinks I can.
2.Your relation with your colleagues (doctors, assistants, secretariat), how does it work?
I work every day with the doctors, inserting patient admissions, I communicate with the colleagues from the secretariat in order to modify the planning and I get along well with everyone.
3.Can you tell us a good memory in the clinic?
“What can be seen from the exterior matters more” – My perceptions concerning cancer patients have changed. I think you need to be ok with yourself in order to fight the disease. Believing that you can is really important. This is the same for me. It is more an advice rather than a memory, but I think it is memorable.
4.What do you want to do now, within Medisprof?
I’m interested in psychology classes, I learned a lot about the oncology diagnostic, frequent codes of diagnostic for the malign tumors and I think that being everyday in the clinic, it is impossible not being interested in this domain. I like the fact that I can help more cancer patients and that I can understand them better.
How blind people are perceived in foreign countries
In the U.S., they are trying to eliminate discrimination regarding blind people in the work environment. A study has shown the fact that a majority of employers considers blind people as employees who imply important costs, and therefore this is an obstacle. There is however, employers who maintain that if you ensure the necessary work conditions for a blind person, he/she will do the work just like a person without sight problems. This element has also been successfully shown by our colleague, Geo!