A Success-Story at AfB
My name is Antonio Truglio and i am an employee at the data deletion of AfB. I started with a company internship to gain the qualification as a IHK-specialist in purchasing and logistics. Friends had pointed me out, that there is a company, that sells second hand computer and employe people with disabilities:
My severe disability came in 2012. I'm hard of hearing. That was also a problem here in the open-plan office of the sales department, where there are a lot of phone calls. But I liked the AfB concept so much that I wanted to stay in the company at all costs.
AfB takes care of decommissioned IT hardware from large companies. This means that our drivers pick up the equipment with their trucks and take it to the nearest AfB branch. There we record the devices and delete the stored data using a reliable and certified process. Afterwards all devices are tested and most of them are upgraded and sold in the AfB shops or in the AfB online shop. Parts that are too old or too broken are recycled.
I think it is good that we do something for the environment and avoid electronic waste. But the special thing about AfB is that the company is really socially engaged. Because of my disability I was not able to stay in the department where I did my internship. So I moved to the refurbishing department to test and refurbish monitors and printers. But the physical strain here was too much for me. A printer can easily weigh 40 to 50 kilos. You have to be very strong to do the job every day.
I talked to my supervisor because I had wanted to get into data erasure for a long time. This is a very responsible job. There must be no mistakes here. It wasn't easy to say that it didn't fit again, but my supervisor was really understanding. I haven't had this experience in other companies. At AfB, you respond to the employees and give them opportunities. You also let them try something. And you search until you have found the right place for everyone.
Almost 300 people work at AfB Germany and nearly half of them have a disability. The superiors have to look at it differently. But I would also like to encourage everyone to bring it up if something doesn't fit. Dare to do it. You can talk to everyone. It is also in the interest of the company that the employees are feeling good. We have a lot of fun together here.
I also think it's good that so many companies cooperate with AfB. We can grow in this way and create even more jobs for people with disabilities. There are not many companies that work with severely disabled people. I hope that our basic social entrepreneurial idea will establish itself in society: People and the environment should always count more than quick economic gain at the expense of others.
Our boss once said: "Many people with disabilities suffer more from a lack of tasks or prospects than from their actual disability." There's some truth to that. So: Give people with disabilities a perspective too!