- Don't mention you are deaf on your resume and/or cover letter. If you mention that, a hiring manager will throw your resume in the trash without even bothering to read all of it. All skills and qualifications should be listed, not your deafness.
- Never ask a manager or employer for an interpreter when they invite you to the interview. They do not like to pay out of their pocket to accommodate a deaf applicant they don't know or if they aren't sure they will hire him or her. The reality may hit you hard, but it just is the way the world works.
- If you are hard of hearing, don't mention you are deaf in the job applications, email, or on the phone until you meet them in person. They will feel at ease if you are able to use your voice to communicate well with them.
- If you are profoundly deaf and can't speak, your deafness shouldn't be mentioned either until you let them know a day before your interview. You will be able to write the notes to communicate with your interviewer. Perhaps, they will realize that you can do it on your own without having an interpreter presented.
- If your Vocational Rehabilitation Service pays an interpreter for your job interview, you must let a manager or HR employer know about it a day before the interview. They don't like the surprises—trust me, I know.
- Make sure you tell your relay operator not to tell someone that this is a relay call because they do not understand or are ignorant about the relay services for deaf and hard of hearing.
- During the interview, you must show your confidence and know about their company as well as the job position you are applying for.
- Tell them what you can do for them that hearing applicants can't. For instance, your deafness helps you strengthen your eyes for color and details, and you know how to pay attention to their customers' needs. You have to emphasize that you have a very good memory and possess special skills that are good for a job you are interested in.
- Keep in mind that they are only interested in what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. They know how to read between lines, so be careful what and how you tell them.
- At the end of the interview, discuss about communication issues and let them know that you won't need an interpreter to accommodate you on the training job. Like I said before, they don't want to pay for any deaf applicants and will have no problem finding a qualified hearing applicant to save them money.
Obviously, the hard truth is we have to work twice as hard as those hearing people to get what we want. Most hearing people think we aren't good enough and would like us to work harder to prove them wrong. If you have experienced any problems with hearing people like your boss, teacher, family member, or anyone else you know that you would like to share with us, feel free to post your comment. Also, if you would like to post your opinion about this article I just wrote today, please feel free to do so.
Hope you will have a nice Thanksgiving's day!