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 If your comment goes unpublished for no other reason, it may be mistakenly filtered as spam.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!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Is Deafness Not Really a Disability?

Growing up, I have never considered myself disabled even though I do have a hearing loss. Knowing I was fully capable of doing anything I put my mind to, I did not feel there was any correlation between deafness and disability. Disability means you are not able to do things physically and mentally. Are the people who are only hearing impaired able-bodied? If so, then why are they viewed as a disability? Legally, Deaf people are considered as ones of the people with disabilities by the governments because they are dealing with so many challenges and discrimination in employment. Therefore, they are placed on welfare.

The meaning of disability can mean different things to different people, but here is the real disability definition quoted below:

"dis·a·bil·i·ty  

/ˌdisəˈbilitē/

Noun
  1. A physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities.
  2. A disadvantage or handicap, esp. one imposed or recognized by the law.
Synonyms
incapacity - incapability - inability - incompetence"

Does this meaning of disability define Deaf people? Are they incapable of doing anything? There are senses that prevent you from doing something, and that is what you'd call a disability, but there's only one sense we obviously don't have. We have lost only one sense that is sound, and that's it. Yeah. Whoops, big deal.

That's why I've never thought of myself as one of the people with disabilities.

But...

Things changed the way I viewed myself when I started a college. I was the only Deaf student in all hearing classes. I was always treated differently by my instructors and classmates. They pitied and talked down to me. I thought, "Wow, my deafness scared them that much?"

Obviously, many Deaf people have their own perceptions about disability. They hate this term because it sounds negative and it does not define them at all. They do feel deafness is a blessing for them because they do have their own culture and language. When there's a language, there's a culture.

On the other hand...

Some people, including both hearing and Deaf people, believe deafness is a disability because we have hearing assistance technology and sign language interpreter. You'll be not considered disabled if you don't need any help at all. If you can't do a job of answering the telephone, then you are considered disabled. 

Before you object to the disability label, there is one question for you to consider. If you were to tell your government that you are not disabled and they would say, "You're not disabled? Okay, we'll take away your disability benefits", what would be your response to that?

https://www.facebook.com/DeafUnemployment
https://deafcantgetjobs.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What to do with your time while unemployed

Some people are unemployed for two years, some haven't had a job in five plus years. When you are still applying for jobs, think about what employers would look for in job applicants. If they see your resume that says you haven't worked in three years, they may see a red flag. They probably think there's something wrong with you. Why should they hire you if others didn't hire you before? It's the first question that pops in their heads. None of the economic crisis and other factors for being unemployed really matter to them. If you are out of work for more than six months, a very, very few employers would even consider calling you to come in for an interview.
 
The best way to fill in unemployment gap is to volunteer at any type of organizations in your area. You may do it at least once or twice a week if you really don't want to waste your time doing something for free everyday. It probably sounds cliché, but it really helps make employers see that you are enthusiastic about what you do and willing to work hard in your free time. This is one of the biggest keys to increasing your chances of getting more job interviews.

I'm not talking about just putting boxes in the backroom or cleaning the shelves. It's not enough to enhance your skills by doing a simple thing that's significantly too low for your level. It's not important enough to draw employers' attention. Personally, I feel it's completely a waste of time and talent. You may want to show them there are many important things you can do when you are volunteering. You can even develop new skills while you are helping out for free. Think of it as if you are taking a free class or even a training program.

It would make more sense to find a volunteer opportunity that is similar to your experience or educational background. The best website for volunteer or job match is "Idealist" www.idealist.org, which is also available in most countries if you live outside of USA.

If you do prefer not to volunteer because you have your own projects that need your attention, you may want to use them as your activities for your work experience. For example, someone who graduates with a degree in Fashion Design begins working on her own clothing line since she is not yet able to find a job. She puts her fashion design projects on her resume, so that her potential employers could see that she is not sitting on her couch in front of TV, popping popcorns in her mouth all day. Because what? Employers hate laziness! There are other things you can do like writing a book or crafting if you don't volunteer. 

I know I have mentioned in my previous blog that you could start a small company to sell your items or things you want to get rid of. You could brainstorm your ideas to start your own business--whether it's online or outside of the Internet. Nowadays, many people who have lost their jobs had to develop a company of their own to survive this recession. Starting a business and searching for a job are your A and B plans, so that you won't go insane or be worried about your future. Thinking positive will keep you sane at all times.

This is why it's important to keep yourself busy while searching for jobs. Employers will want to know what you're up to while you are unemployed. They need someone with up to date skills. The longer they are unemployed, the less they are needed. It's true.

https://www.facebook.com/DeafUnemployment
https://deafcantgetjobs.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jobs to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection

I came across a news article about employers going through several rounds of interviews before they find a perfect candidate in tight economy. I thought it was so interesting that I would like to share with you all. It made me think about how it would affect deaf people or people with disabilities who are applying for jobs. Once again, it just adds another problem to deaf people's employment barriers. When you read it, you will have real depth of understanding how this economy plays a role in employers' hiring decisions.

I copied and pasted the news article here along with its source, and let me know what you think of it.
__________________________________________________________________________
By CATHERINE RAMPELL | New York Times – Wed, Mar 6, 2013 2:04 PM EST

Paul Sullivan, a video editor, has received eighth- and ninth-round callbacks at three different companies.

Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times - Paul Sullivan, a video editor, has received eighth- and ninth-round callbacks at three different companies.

American employers have a variety of job vacancies, piles of cash and countless well-qualified candidates. But despite a slowly improving economy, many companies remain reluctant to actually hire, stringing job applicants along for weeks or months before they make a decision.

If they ever do.

The number of job openings has increased to levels not seen since the height of the financial crisis, but vacancies are staying unfilled much longer than they used to — an average of 23 business days today compared to a low of 15 in mid-2009, according to a new measure of Labor Department data by the economists Steven J. Davis, Jason Faberman and John Haltiwanger.

Some have attributed the more extended process to a mismatch between the requirements of the 4 million jobs available and the skills held by many of the 12 million unemployed. That’s probably true in a few high-skilled fields, like nursing or biotech, but for a large majority of positions where candidates are plentiful, the bigger problem seems to be a sort of hiring paralysis.

“There’s a fear that the economy is going to go down again, so the message you get from C.F.O.’s is to be careful about hiring someone,” said John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University who runs a human resources consulting business. “There’s this great fear of making a mistake, of wasting money in a tight economy.”

As a result, employers are bringing in large numbers of candidates for interview after interview after interview. Data from Glassdoor.com, a site that collects information on hiring at different companies, shows that the average duration of the interview process at major companies like Starbucks, General Mills and Southwest Airlines has roughly doubled since 2010.

“After they call you back after the sixth interview, there’s a part of you that wants to say, ‘That’s it, I’m not going back,’ ” said Paul Sullivan, 43, an exasperated but cheerful video editor in Washington. “But then you think, hey, maybe seven is my lucky number. And besides, if I don’t go, they’ll just eliminate me if something else comes up because they’ll think I have an attitude problem.”

Like other job seekers around the country, he has been through marathon interview sessions. Mr. Sullivan has received eighth- and ninth-round callbacks for positions at three different companies. Two of those companies, as it turned out, ultimately decided not to hire anyone, he said; instead they put their openings “on hold” because of budget pressures.

At one company, while signing into the visitor’s log for the sixth time, he was chided by the security guard.

“He thought I worked there and just kept forgetting my security badge,” Mr. Sullivan said. “He couldn’t believe I was actually there for another interview. I couldn’t either! But then I put on a happy face, went upstairs and waited for another round of questions.”

The hiring delays are part of the vicious cycle the economy has yet to escape: jobless and financially stretched Americans are reluctant to spend, which holds back demand, which in turn frays employers’ confidence that sales will firm up and justify committing to a new hire. Job creation over the last two years has been steady but too slow to put a major dent in the backlog of unemployed workers, and the February jobs report due out on Friday is expected to be equally mediocre. Uncertainty about the effect of fiscal policy in Washington is not helping expectations for the rest of the year, either.

“If you have an opening and are not sure about the economy, it’s pretty cheap to wait for a month or two,” said Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University. But in the aggregate, those little delays, coupled with fiscal uncertainty, are stretching out the recovery process. “It’s like one of those horror movies, an economic Friday the 13th, where this recession never seems to die.”

Employers might be making candidates jump through so many hoops partly because so many workers have been jobless for months or years, and hiring managers want to make sure the candidates’ skills are up to date, said Robert Shimer, an economics professor at the University of Chicago.

But there’s also little pressure to hire right now, so long as candidates are abundant and existing staff members are afraid to refuse the extra workload created by an unfilled position. Employers can keep dragging out the hiring process until they’re more confident about their business — or at least until they find the superstar candidate they are sure must be just over the horizon.

“They’re chasing after that purple squirrel,” said Roger Ahlfeld, 44, of Framingham, Mass., using a human resources industry term for an impossibly qualified job applicant.

An H.R. professional himself, Mr. Ahlfeld has been looking for work since August 2011, and has been frustrated to find himself the “silver medalist” for a couple of jobs after six separate rounds of interviews totaling 10 to 20 hours for each position, not including prep work and transportation time. For both of those jobs, though, there still has been no gold medalist. After eight months, they remain unfilled, with the companies intermittently posting a job ad, taking it down, and then posting it again.

In addition to demanding credentials beyond what a given position traditionally requires, employers have thrown up more hurdles as screening devices.

In his job hunt over the last year, Mr. Sullivan has taken several video-editing tests, which he says he aced. But he has also been subjected to a battery of personality and psychological exams, a spelling quiz and even a math test (including a question that began, to the best of his recollection, “If John is on a train traveling from New York at 40 miles per hour, and Susie is on a train from Boston...”).

He passed the math test with a 90 percent score, he said.

“Sister Callahan would be very proud that I was able to remember math problems I learned in prep school,” he said. “But what on earth does that have to do with the job I was applying for? It was like something out of ‘Seinfeld.’ ”

For the companies themselves, economists say, the gantlets they have constructed may be wasting managers’ time and company resources that could be put to better use. Besides, there are diminishing returns to interviewing candidates so many times; a recent internal analysis at Google, a company that developed a reputation for over-interviewing even when the economy was good, showed that the optimal number of interviews for any given candidate was four. But that has not sped things up. According to user reviews on Glassdoor.com, the average Google interview process has expanded in the last two years, to 30 days from 21. Google declined to comment.

And for applicants, the expenses add up fast.

Mr. Sullivan calculates that the three positions he applied for cost him $520.36 in parking fees, two parking tickets, gas and trips to Starbucks while waiting for his interviews. (He recently switched to bringing his own coffee thermos, he says.) That tally excludes the costs of producing and mailing out his video work, dry-cleaning bills for the pressed suits he dons for each interview and thousands of dollars of fees to get certified in new video-editing programs.

Job seekers just have to hope that the investment pays off.

Jameson Cherilus, 23, counts himself as one of the lucky ones. Since graduating at the top of his 2012 class at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, he has spent hundreds of dollars on public transit traveling from his home in Bridgeport to interview for jobs in New York. After about six weeks of interviews for an entry-level administrative position at a talent agency, he got some good news: in mid-December, he was finally offered the job.

There’s just one catch.

More than two months later, he said, “They still haven’t given me my start date.”
News source: Jobs to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection

https://www.facebook.com/DeafUnemployment
https://deafcantgetjobs.blogspot.com
 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Reasons for Deaf employees being fired


Here are common six factors for firing Deaf employees. All of those are discrimination against deafness. Here are the reasons for their firing:

1. Not able to complete required tasks due to a lack of reasonable accommodation like a fax machine, computer, video call relay, ASL interpreter, or text messaging (which as a mean to communicate with co-workers and managers).

2. Employers are tired of communicating with Deaf employees. Not that Deaf workers can't communicate, but employers do not like to take their time to write down the notes or talk directly to their Deaf employees who read lips.

3. They are fired because they can't hear. Their job descriptions say they must be able to hear well to perform a job. For instance, a couple of years ago, a Deaf lifeguard was fired because she was deaf, and a new policy required all lifeguards to be able to hear in case someone was screaming for help in the water.

4. Conflicts with co-workers. Deaf and hearing co-workers do not get along well. A hearing co-worker lies to their boss about a deaf co-worker for any reason just to get him or her in trouble, and the boss chooses to believe their hearing employee over the deaf worker. During dispute, the employer often takes hearing employee's side instead of deaf employee.

5. Companies do not have enough money to pay their employees and decide to lay off some "unwanted" employees including the one who is deaf. They will keep the ones who are considered the most "qualified".

6. For requesting an ASL interpreter for on-the-job training program.

Any thoughts? Does anyone have similar experience to any of these lists? If anyone has anything else that is not listed above, please post away! I believe there may be more than what is listed here.

https://www.facebook.com/DeafUnemployment
https://deafcantgetjobs.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to explain WOTC to your hiring employers


Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal tax for employers who are considering to hire individuals with disabilities. When employers are qualified for WOTC after hiring individuals with disabilities, they are able to reduce their income tax liability. The tax credit ranges from $1,200 to $9,600, depending on the number of hours individuals work. Not bad, right?

The question is, what's the best way to explain WOTC to your potential employers? Many of them do not know or never have heard of it before. This is why it's so important to explain things that could benefit hiring employers. Let's just be frank, they don't give a flying crap about any qualified individuals with disabilities, and they ponder, "why should I hire a deaf person? How do I benefit from this?". The bottom line is, we have to throw meat to a dog in order to get what we need from this dog.

Being in a highly competition against many hearing applicants, you have to give something that employers may need or want, and that includes WOTC.

Here goes...

Interviewer: "Um, ok--so, uh...why should we hire you?"

Deaf Candidate: "Because I have five years of experience in blah blah blah. I am a hard working person, have great attention to details, and blah blah blah. Not only do I have the perfect qualifications for this job, but if you hire me, this company could get a tax credit called Work Opportunity Tax Credit. What it does for this company is to reduce their income tax if a Deaf person is hired by them. I brought the WOTC papers with me, so you can review it, and let me know if you're interested." 

This is a very simple approach, especially with the papers you need to provide to the hiring employers, so that they can understand what they are reading. 

If they decide to hire someone else over you, then remember that at least you have tried and to keep going what you are doing, anyway.

Many employers really need to be educated about Deaf culture (or various individuals with disabilities if they will) and how they can benefit from hiring persons with disabilities. Their ignorance and fears of persons with disabilities resulted in a much higher rate of unemployment than those of people without disabilities.

If you are in currently meeting with your VR counselor, ask them for more information about WOTC and where you can obtain information on it.

Here's a website at More Info About WOTC

https://www.facebook.com/DeafUnemployment
https://deafcantgetjobs.blogspot.com