Hilton Toronto accommodates disability hire, fosters inclusive workplace

Fauzia (third from left) with Hilton Toronto colleagues.

Fauzia (third from left) with Hilton Toronto colleagues.

TORONTO — The Hilton Toronto went to great lengths to accommodate a deaf woman hired in late May 2014 as a room attendant, and in so doing, has fostered an inclusive workplace, according to a blog posted on the website of Hospitality Workers Training Centre, a Toronto-based non-profit organization.

During an intensive two-week training program at the centre, the woman, Fauzia, impressed course instructor Margaret Readings with her skills and exceptional attitude. Consequently, Readings thought Hilton Toronto would be a good fit for Fauzia.

Hilton Toronto’s executive housekeeper Me-An Vera-Fudge didn’t consider limitations when she heard of Fauzia’s disability. She only thought of how to make accommodations work.

The hotel accommodated Fauzia in a number of ways: When Fauzia begins her shift, she places a letter under the door of each room she’ll be cleaning. The letter clearly explains that she’s deaf and that she’ll knock to let guests know when she’ll be entering. So far, the process has been seamless, according to the blog. Rather than experiencing any pushback from guests, Vera-Fudge received a letter of praise from one guest who was delighted that the Hilton Toronto had a culture of inclusion.

Hilton staff use Blackberry technology to communicate with one another, making it easier for Fauzia to transition to being part of the team; texting allows Fauzia to share and receive information. Accommodating Fauzia has enhanced team cohesion and communications, noted the blog.

For more information or to inquire about training programs, contact the Hospitality Workers Training Centre — talent@hospitalitytrainingcentre.com