Jesus Morales Jr.: Art with a Heart
At ASW, we strive to cultivate inclusivity and we thrive in the diversity of our employees. Jesus Morales Jr., a graphic designer from ASW Philippines who is also deaf, exemplifies our work culture with his dedication to the team and to the local deaf community.
(Writer’s note: Article has been edited for clarity)
Hi Jesus! Can you tell us about your role at ASW and your personal background?
I’m Jesus Morales Jr. I am a Junior Graphic Designer and have been working in ASW since March 2020 for our client partner. My family, relatives and friends call me Jay Jay. I am the only deaf person in a hearing family. In my spare time, I play online games with my nieces and nephews, watch anime and Marvel movies.
In the previous interview with the team, you mentioned about your advocacy with the deaf community. Could you share with us some of the work that you do?
I am the Vice President of Development and Accessibility Fund for the Deaf, Inc. (DeAF Deaf) for almost 10 years now, and have been serving deaf communities in different parts of the Philippines. I was also a resource person for Deaf Awareness and Filipino Sign Language trainings for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.
When the quarantine started in the Philippines, I became a volunteer artist for FSLACT4COVID19 (Filipino Sign Language Access Team for COVID19) and an artist coordinator for the Media Accessibility Team and the Community Accessibility Team.
In the future, I would still like to continue my work with the deaf community on weekends. I pray that we develop more deaf leaders for the community and more jobs for deaf people.
What are the challenges that you encounter at work? As a member of the deaf community, tell us how you and your colleagues work together to overcome these challenges?
Being deaf, I have to communicate the challenges that I’m facing. I sometimes hesitate to ask but I have to be honest when I need a bit of help, like when I have questions about the task and the creative brief so I can clearly understand what I need to do.
What basic tips would you recommend on how to best communicate with you?
-Tap on the shoulder, wave the hand, stomp on wooden floor and flick the lights
-Use e-mail, SMS, and written communication
-Use body language and facial expressions
-Use gestures and pantomime
-Pictures and other visual aids, and sketch
-Learn basic Filipino Sign Language and Fingerspelling Alphabet
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy learning from our team leader and to have the opportunity to chat with clients and our team via Skype video calls and audio texts. My team leader and our client said they appreciate that I am able to prioritise tasks and manage them from my end.
I finally met our team for the first time last December 13, 2021 for our team lunch. It felt like I was working with them in an office. We communicated by using the text feature of our smartphones. I hope to strengthen our bond by teaching them Filipino Sign Language (FSL) when the pandemic is over.
I am still trying to do my best to read and analyse Australian slang. I know I am still not good in English, but I believe I am still doing a good job by working hard for our clients and our team.
Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow ASW colleagues?
To my ASW colleagues, I would like to raise my hands by doing the “Deaf APPLAUSE” for ASW’s 10-year anniversary. I really hope for ASW’s continued success, and hope to see and talk to each other in person when the pandemic is over.