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141 Dundas Street,
5th Floor - Reception
London, ON, N6A 1G3.

E-mail: info@atn.on.ca
Phone 519-433-7950
Fax: 519-433-0282

OLA Program - Success Story

I had started working with Michael Hale in January 2015. I had always wanted to have a business but had no prior knowledge or foundation to start it. In the early time, I showed him my products and he gave me the honest feedback that I might had the low chance to have customers to buy my products. He suggested me to sell natural/organic body care products such as soaps, lip balms, creams, and so on to diversifty my market. I had started with the glycerin soap kit and body cream for an experiment. I had learned a lot from the experiment what I should do and what I should not do it for health reason.

Eventually, he took me to the bookkeeper workshop how to keep all expenses and incomes I have with the Excel program. He advised me to keep all receipts for bookkeeping. He educated me how the business works; how to show yourself to companies if you want to sell your products professionally regarding to manners, how you dress, know what kind of people you are looking for to sell natural products, brand design, and quality of products. He taught me to decide how much to price my products a little but he will explain it more later. Michael is a talented teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people because he used the deaf-friendly teaching techniques to educate me so I can understand. For instance, he used props to explain how to sell my products to different companies and showed me why I should sell my products to more companies to make more money. He took me to the bookkeeping workshop and the presenter gave us activities to understand how the bookkeeping work.

Michael as a Deaf person knows that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are visual learners. That is why it is important to give us various activities to understand things better. Other example, he reserved a booth for me at the Fair/Flea market in London so I could sell my products to get the idea how the business work. It was very advantageous to me because now I got the idea what kind of customers who are likely to buy my products, understood how important to decorate my booth to attract customers’ attentions, knew what products not to make again, and how I behaved that affect their impressions about me (i.e. I learned that customers didn’t come to my booth when I sat in the chair. They came to my booth when I stood up). Also I learned how to communicate with hearing people without an ASL interpreter at the market because in the reality, I will not have an interpreter with me to sell my products to hearing customers; some of them are not comfortable to write back and forth and some of them understood my gestures.

Michael encouraged me to stay positive when I felt down that I had to spend so much on products and I was struggling to survive with the limited budget.

Article by Tamyka Bullen