This page is created by a Deaf blogger and is NOT intended to offend Deaf community, Deaf individuals, or anyone else. Any hateful or offensive comments made by individual readers is the sole responsibility of that person. With the exception of news sources (I do not own them), these blog articles are my own opinions and thoughts with which you may disagree. I do remove comments that only contain profanity and insults about me or this page (yeah, it's my blog). If your comment goes unpublished for no other reason, it may be mistakenly filtered as spam. Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What you should do and what you shouldn't do when applying for job

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. During the interview, you must show your confidence and know about their company as well as the job position you are applying for.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.
This is all for now. If there is anything I may forget to add, please let me know!

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!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Spot Discrimination Against Deafness


Watch More News Videos at ABC | 2012 Presidential Election | Entertainment & Celebrity News


I believe anyone who is deaf would remember this video from ABC television show, "What Would You Do?" with a subtitle of "What Would You Do If You Saw Someone Discriminate Against A Deaf Applicant?". Two students of Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were acting as a Deaf applicant and an ASL interpreter to experiment whether or not anyone would speak up when they see discrimination.

What actually caught my attention was a woman (her face was blurred for her safety)
told a cafe manager not to tell a Deaf applicant his real reason for not hiring her. What she meant was as a manager, you aren't supposed to tell a job applicant that you don't want to hire her or him because s/he is deaf. Otherwise, you'll be facing possible discrimination lawsuit. And guess what? She worked in Human Resources. Who knows what goes on in Human Resource Services? Have you noticed how strangers rarely stood up for the girls? Sad, but that's the world we live in. At least, it's eye-opening for every deaf person out there.

Based on research studies and my experience, I'm writing about the signs of discrimination against your deafness
.

1. When you tell a hiring manager you are deaf and that you need an interpreter in an email or on the phone, they either don't answer or simply say
they will get back to you but never do.

2. You tell them that you are deaf or hard of hearing in an email, but they don't respond to your email message.


3. You call someone about a job using a relay call, and as soon as the operator indicates that you're deaf, they hang up on you.


4. 
While you are being interviewed, you see a concerned look on an interviewer's face when you are signing (with your interpreter being there, of course).

5. When you go to a place to apply for job in person, you notice a manager goes somewhere else to avoid you, and when you approach them, they are reluctant to take your application. 


6. A manager tells you the job may not be right for you because of your deafness.


7. An interviewer asks if you can speak or hear clearly. They even ask you if you can read or write.


8. When you are done with your job interview, they say they'll call you but never do. When you call or email to follow up, they don't respond to any of your calls or email messages.


9. During the interview, they test your skills by giving you a work sample but don't do the same to hearing applicants.

10. Your manager
treats you different than how they treat others. They give you a hard time, are being disrespectful to you, and/or are taking advantage of you. 

11. They never give you a promotion or let you climb up the corporate ladder.


12. They don't give you a raise.

13. After finding out you're deaf, they refuse to speak with you in person. 

 I will come back here to update if there is anything else I can think of.

UPDATED: The list I made above is just to show you that the employers don't want anything to do with your deafness. All of them are based on deaf people's true stories, including me. Some people think that employers can't blatantly tell deaf people they have a problem with their deafness. Well, that is untrue because it has happened to me and some other deaf people. Some employers will tell you like it is, some won't.

It is important to notice that just because it's only your words against theirs does not mean you can't file an EEOC complaint against them. It is up to EEOC to decide whether or not that is discrimination, and they also will investigate your case to determine if they violate the law
  
If you ever face serious employment discrimination , do not be afraid to speak up and go to EEOC to file a complaint against company or someone who discriminates against you. Even if EEOC finds that the company do not violate any law, don't be discouraged. Keep in mind that whenever you find yourself being discriminated, stand up for yourself and the deaf community.


The next article will be about
what you should do and what you shouldn't do when applying for job or going to your job interview. Thanks for the reading and stay tuned!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reasons Employers Won't Hire Deaf People

When you apply for job online, you usually find the statement somewhere on the career section site that says "We don't discriminate against persons with regard to gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, etc...". The reality is something else when an employer find out job applicant is deaf, they look for excuses not to hire that person. They are very good at talking around the issue simply because they don't want to be sued. As far as they know about a law especially the ADA (American with Disabilities Act), they can just say they hired someone else that is more qualified than the deaf applicant in fear of being sued. They can be real sneaky about it.

The real reason the employers refuse to hire deaf applicants is because they are not willing to pay for a sign language interpreter to interview with a deaf applicant. They do not want to pay for working with the hired deaf applicant for few days with an interpreter to settle into the job during training period. The interpreters charge employers $75 to $125 or even higher per hour. The employers do not want to waste their money on interpreters if deaf employees don't last longer on the jobs. It's sad but true.

Put yourself in the shoes of those employers, what would you do if you have to choose between a qualified deaf applicant and qualified hearing applicant? If you really don't want to spend any money on a job applicant for any reasonable accommodations, you would go with the able-bodied applicant. If you can't handle or are unsure what to do with a deaf person, you would feel more comfortable to go with the hearing one.

Another reason is the communication difficulty and telephone culture. Employers may not hire the deaf applicants if they are only relying on sign language and not able to use speech communication with other hearing employees and supervisors. The employers who work in a fast-paced environment may not have time to write the notes back and forth between them and deaf employees. Employers highly value verbal communication in understanding and feedback among employees, especially involved with paying clients and customers. Most companies are revolved around telephoning people all the times. Deaf applicants do not hear well on the telephone and would have to relay on the emailing on the company computers to communicate with someone. Employers want instant feedback by telephone and do not always have time to read hundreds of emails a day from other people. 

Obviously, it is wrong to deny deaf applicants the opportunity to seek employment with companies and it's also wrong to deny them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experiences to employers. Deaf people are capable to do everything except hear. There are other better ways to communicate like emailing or texting with employees. However, when they hire a deaf person, it's because of the tax credits or because she or he must possess special abilities or skills that hearing applicant doesn't have.

If you are deaf and still waiting for someone to hire you, you are wasting your time. Especially in today's economy, this is going to take a long time for you to either get back on track or get your first job. There are millions of unemployed people in the United States, so it would be harder to compete against the hearing ones. If you are still working with vocational rehabilitation or state employment services, don't count on them because they are always finding you stocking or other low paying jobs. As hard as it is, you would have to be really aggressive to find a good paying job. 

Instead of just being a job hunter, you can do something you really enjoy. If you have a degree in graphic design, you can start a little business to design logos for your clients. 
Market your skills to potiental clients on social networking sites like twitter or facebook. You can also create your LinkedIn account to connect with the right people. If you are really a good photographer, you can start selling photos to greeting card companies like Hallmark. There are many things you can do as long as you have a passion for what you do. I'm sure you have a lot of great ideas to start a new career even if you don't have a college degree!

Check out the new ebook, "What Every Deaf Person Needs to Know", at https://sarahterras.selz.com

Please like https://facebook.com/DeafUnemployment