My Story: Charles Gourlay

Let me introduce myself, my name is Charles A. Gourlay, and I’m a computer salvage/material handler at Goodwill in Gary, IN. Shortly after birth I was diagnosed with spinal meningitis which resulted in total loss of hearing by the age of two.

I attended public school from preschool through middle school. There were three other students that were deaf which made it more comforting for me. Although it was difficult at times, in school I had interpreters with me who helped a lot. Eventually, I began to learn the patterns of others. For high school I attended Indianapolis School for the Deaf.

Despite my hearing disability, I still communicate very well with friends, both hearing and deaf. I enjoy playing all kinds of games, reading and much more.

After years of searching for employment with no success, I met with my vocational rehabilitation counselor for assistance. That is when I met Goodwill employment specialist Raymond Green.

During our weekly meetings he helped me a great deal in my search for employment and conducting mock interviews. Eventually that lead to an interview with Goodwill Transportation/Outlet Supervisor Tom Lawson. Tom offered me three days of training as a material handler which lead to a permanent full-time position.

In the beginning there were a few obstacles to face, but I find ways to successfully overcome them. It has become easier for me and my co-worker, Jason, who is also deaf. I enjoy my job here at Goodwill and have made many friends. I am even teaching a few co-workers how to use sign language.