John Filicky

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John Filicky is a production team member, assembly 2, at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK). As John begins a typical day on the second shift, teammates greet him with a chorus of “How are you?” and “Hey man, what’s up?” It’s easy to see why the group leader, Allen Burdine, calls him the most-liked member of the team.

Born hearing-impaired, John is one of 466 million people around the world who have some form of disabling hearing loss. But that hasn’t prevented him from excelling at his job at TMMK for the past 26 years. 

John stresses that being deaf is a part of who he is, but it doesn’t define his life. He loves listening to and signing Christian music. Hiking, biking and canoeing are also favorite hobbies of his. “If I am outside, I am happy.“ 

When it comes to speaking to a deaf person, he understands the nervousness and curiosity that come along with it.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask the person what they prefer. It’s not disrespectful to find out how someone wants to communicate.

John adds, “Whether it’s getting out a notepad and putting words on paper or using a phone to share notes or texts, there are many ways to communicate that don’t involve talking.”