BM Poster for Sennheiser

Headphones group Sennheiser and IT company Hewlett-Packard (HP) are making an impact in the disability sector. Sennheiser is supporting a local film project to help raise awareness about hearing loss. The short film, called Blue Mist, is about a deaf girl who gets lost on a bushwalk in the Blue Mountains. It was written and directed by Australian filmmaker Pauline Findlay who was inspired to start the project after discovering her hearing was reducing in one ear and asking herself , “What would I miss, if was deaf?”

The film is in the final stages of production with the hope it will be ready to enter into Australian and international film festivals, such as the Sydney Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival. Sennheiser has a keen interest in improving the lives of people with hearing disability offering a range of assistive listening devices designed to provide individual support for hearing in specific situations.

In an Australian-first, 11 people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have begun traineeships in South Australia in partnership with HP Australia, the Department of Human Services and the Specialist People Foundation (SPF). The 3-year trainee program is designed to give the participants the chance to gain valuable work skills in an environment that enables them to perform their roles effectively while being supported by people who understand their abilities. The trainees will work alongside other department staff in HP’s IT Hub in Adelaide and will receive permanent employment from HP.

According to HP, people with ASD are well suited to performing the IT tasks that are key to technology companies like HP. The company said it believes diversity and inclusion creates a competitive advantage for organisations, helping drive growth, productivity and innovation.

It is part of the international Dandelion employment program which is the logo of the SPF which has the goal of providing jobs for those with autism and similar disorders.