TD Stories - Diversity

ASL Interpreter for TD Employees

Michelle Ramos works at TD as an administrative officer. She was born deaf and, until she reached high school, could only lip-read. That's when she began learning sign language and found it a far better way to learn and understand.

Michelle has worked at TD for 15 years. She notes that during her first few years on the job, she had a hard time understanding what the meetings were about because interpreters were often unavailable. Shortly thereafter, TD became the first bank to have an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter on staff to support deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing employees. The ASL interpreter participates in staff meetings and employee/manager interviews, as well as supporting training initiatives, town halls and other communications.

"I do feel comfortable working at TD and with the staff too," says Michelle. "They all are wonderful and very understanding of the deaf culture. The Managers, Team Leaders, Resource Officers and Human Resources all try to make us feel welcomed to work at TD with our disability."

A Lesson in Determination

Operations team member Leon Proctor Jr. feels fortunate to be working for a company like TD Bank. Leon was born with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an eye disease that, as he describes it, progressively degenerates the retina. Leon’s vision is very limited – he can see some things, he says, “depending on the lighting. I can’t see the facial features of co-workers sitting across from me.”

Determined not to be set back by his disability, Leon took advantage of the vision rehabilitation services offered by Portland’s IRIS Network. Leon began working with TD Bank more than three years ago, starting as a logger – logging dispute forms in a database – at the Bates Mill office in Lewiston, Me.

“It’s been a great opportunity working for TD Bank,” says Leon. “They really opened the doors for me and took me in and accepted me. I’ve never had any issues. These are the best employees I’ve ever worked with. The management staff is understanding and helps me through everything. I love working with this company and I’m thankful for the opportunity I have with them.”