Did you know, statistically, it is easier for a convicted criminal to get a job than it is for a deaf person? (Source: CACDP)
This is very aggravating when you’ve had the benefit of a good education, worked harder than your hearing peers in order to be treated equally, and then have to compete on an uneven playing field in the face of employers that tend to look at disability first rather than the ability. It seems that to compete with others for jobs, you have to be not just as good, but better than hearing people. I know so many deaf people that are well qualified in their field and just cannot get the job they are qualified to do.
A few years ago, I tried an experiment. I applied for twelve vacancies and split them into two piles. In the first pile, I said I am deaf and need to use a textphone, blah blah blah. In the second pile, I did not mention my hearing loss. I had no interest from the employers in my first pile, and the employers from my second pile couldn’t get hold of me fast enough – until I explained that I am hearing impaired, then I was dropped like a hot brick. You can draw your own conclusions…..
Here are some tips for getting the job that you want.
* be confident and assertive – you’re great as well!
* apply for suitable jobs with your skill set or transferable skills
* be open and honest about your communication preferences and needs
* explain Access To Work to the employer, or ask your local JobCentre or RNID to assist you with this
* make sure your CV is concise, well written and appropriate (targeted, chronological, or functional as appropriate)
* get advice and assistance with interview skills if you’re rusty
* apply to specialist agencies as well, such as Employment Opportunities
* plan your job hunt like a project, and keep track of all your applications – don’t miss the deadlines
If you are offered an interview
* dress appropriately for interview and arrive on time
* preparation is key – research the company, the role, have answers ready for expected questions
* think about why you want to work for this company and what you can offer them
* you can obtain communication support from the JobCentre
* before the interview, it’s a good idea to replace your hearing aid battery and to make sure the tubing is free from moisture
* remember, this is also an opportunity for you to find out about the company – do you really want to work for THEM?
Do you tell a prospective employer you are deaf or not? Take the poll!