Crystal Bramwell’s Story with an Inclusive Employer

We are delighted to work with our member BCAA to spotlight Crystal Bramwell’s story about working with an inclusive employer.

Watch the video with ASL and Captions:

Watch the Described Video:

About the ‘Spotlight on Disability in the Workplace’ Series

Presidents Group created a series of short films promoting accessible employment opportunities in British Columbia. Restating the case for inclusive employment, the video series is an awareness campaign about accessibility and inclusion in the workplace.

We are profiling people with disability living and working in BC who love what they do!

The aim is to promote the benefits of accessible and inclusive workplaces as well as services available to improve and encourage inclusive hiring across BC. The films hope to celebrate diversity, break barriers and stereotypes and inspire others to pursue careers they’re passionate about.


Transcript For This Video:

[Crystal] There was no career path. It was just survive.

Get whatever job you can get, make whatever money you can make to pay the bills to survive.

I worked at a laundromat, warehouses, cleaning, twelve hour days, five, six days a week.

As a single mother, my worst fear was being homeless, because I had two kids. 

To reap the reward, you have to put in hard work. Do whatever it takes. And that’s what I did.

My name is Crystal Bramwell and I work at BCAA, Omnichannel Support Administration.

It makes me think of honeybees in a hive. We all get together and we work at a common goal and our goal is to make BCAA as a whole function.

BCAA supports just under one million Members. So that’s a lot of people. And my department does the back end work, to allow the agents, that are on call with the Members all over B.C., to focus on the Members.

And anytime I need support, it’s there – in spades.

I’ve been through quite a few experiences where they’ve never been nearly as supportive as this company has been.

Which is what’s so amazing about working at BCAA, you really do get to grow.

[Eric] – Crystal is a great example of someone who brings that talent every day, but also brings unique perspective and challenges us to approach problems differently and solve them in different, unique ways than we ever have before.

[Crystal] I’ve always disclosed my hearing loss in every resume and cover letter I’ve ever made. 

I was born with severe to profound hearing loss. I got my hearing aids when I was three years old, when my mom discovered that I was deaf and then got connected with a place where they’re taking kids and teach them how to lip read. 

And that was my whole introduction to what is now called Wavefront. They have provided my hearing aids, all the different assistive devices that they offer.

Well I was the only one in my school who had a hearing loss. It was hard. It was lonely. 

Somebody once said to me, if you don’t ask for help, you’re not going to get it. So just ask.

If you have a voice, or any kind of way of communicating, communicate.

[Eric] Diversity in hiring is really important to BCAA. 

And the Community of Accessible Employers brought forward by the Presidents Group is a wonderful resource for tools to integrate and leverage the talent of people with disabilities.

With Crystal and her Bluetooth devices for example, employers shouldn’t be afraid of the investment necessary because it allows more access, more seamless and frictionless ability for us to tap into people’s talent.

[Crystal] So let’s say I’m sitting at a table and everybody’s talking, and then somebody starts speaking up above the whole crowd. And I’ll touch the microphone and just focus on that person. Before, that voice would never stand out above the rest.

I have always been the kind of person where I’ll work hard for you. So, it’s nice to have somebody to work hard for me too.

BCAA is so proud of our long-term relationship with the Presidents Group, also being a part of the commitment, the Pledge to Measure, has really helped us understand, you know, the diversity of our workforce and given us targets to try to be better every single day.

[Crystal] Just having a disability means I can understand the other side of the coin. 

I’m perfect and imperfect, because of my disability. So I see things that the other person may not see.

I think all my other senses have just been completely intensified, because my hearing is just not there.

One value that I brought to my kids, I didn’t even have to say it. It was just don’t judge. I hope they’re really proud of what I do. They’re hard workers, they’ve really good work ethic. I always wonder if maybe that came from me.

So hopefully I planted a seed in them that the world is within their reach. All they have to do is work hard, and they can make it happen.