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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Deaf Applicants: Tired of Hunting Job?

I had a recent conversation with two people about SSI/SSD and Deaf people's lack of effort in searching for a job. I had to remind them that it was not easy for people with disabilities to get hired due to discrimination and that they had no choice but to receive disability cash to live. They argued that it was probably just an excuse because the Deaf people they knew gave up job searching so soon and they didn't try hard enough to get a job. They saw a lot of their jobless Deaf friends being on disability benefits for a long period of time. Well, those were their words, not mine. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention they were deaf as well.

A couple of years ago, my VR counselor and employment specialist were so surprised that I was very persistent about getting a job and that I was filling out over 500 job applications in the last two years. They were really amazed by how hard I worked to find a job. They said no other Deaf clients have ever done what I did. It made me wonder whether or not their Deaf clients were doing enough.

Another time, my employment specialist seemed to complain that many Deaf clients just sat back and expected them to go out and find a job for them. So, it was why they were always asking me if I was actively filling out job applications.

I am not judging anyone based on the information I've received and I am not saying that everyone is the same, but I'm just pondering how often it is for Deaf people to stop searching for job abruptly. I wonder if a lack of effort may actually play some role in skyrocketing Deaf unemployment.

Nevertheless, they shouldn't be blamed if they have given up job searching after three years or more, especially knowing that they did the best as they could. The feelings of hopeless and insecurity after seeing a lot of rejection are very common. In this recession, either it's going to take a long time to snag a job or there are far fewer job opportunities than before. However, if you haven't done the best as you could to find a job, then you might want to think about whether or not you could have done differently if you had tried harder.

Overall, that's just my observation.

I would expect to see more and more people out of work everyday. We don't really know for how long it's going to last and when things will go back to the way it was before economic crisis, or maybe things won't be the same as they used to be economy wise.

I notice many people, both hearing and deaf, are commenting that "it's not only Deaf people or persons with disabilities that have difficulty getting a job. Hearing/able-bodied people are suffering, too." While that may be true, I just think that they don't realize how serious problem the Deaf community is really facing right now. In the past, with good economy, we still had the same problem as we do today. Nothing has changed at all. That's the big problem, especially in this recession. They said hearing people are facing the same challenges as Deaf. What challenges? What do they have in common? That does not make any sense to me. I'd hate to say it, but that's a flat-out denial.

To grasp the concept of this problem, you should read the other blogs I wrote here in the archives. Please, check 'em out.

Any opinions? Disagreement? Please post your comment.


  1. Deaf reliance on others whilst earnestly campaigning for independence, was always a conundrum ! I had to do everything myself as a deafened person, arrange interviews try to lip read employers do my own CV's everything and do the employment rounds on my own with no support at all, since, support was ONLY given to those born deaf and signing, I had to do whatever I could alone. I lost count of factories which kicked me out as an idiot.

    Do deaf people expect IF they get work, support is going to be there to do that for them too ? it won't exist. First you have to prove what you can do for them, NOT, what they can do for you. At the root of the issue is poor education,they are never primed for a lifetime of working in a hearing world and leave deaf educational areas with no idea how to cope.

  2. I am job searching, after having been laid off 20 months ago. It is tiring, frustrating and maddening to explain over and over again about my abilities despite my deafness. My view is that the companies aren't as focused on my work skills, experience or my education. The companies seem to be more concerned about my communication skills, my abilities to be aware of what's going on, etc... I try not to spend too much time and energy explaining on these concerns, because I want to focus on what I can bring to the companies, but I know the more assurance I can give them, the better they will feel and that may lead to a potential chance for me. However, after so many months, it is exasperating and it does seem pointless when I read their email "Thank you for your time, however, we have selected another person..."

  3. matSeattle, I have been applied more than 200 applications for 6 years. Vocational Rehabilitation called WorkSource as Unemployment office to prevent me to not work for companies. and Harassment and Revenged me at school.
    Vocational Rehabilitation emailed to community college to delete my classes. I called DSHS in Seattle and told DSHS to asked Vocational Rehabilitation harassment.

    I am still not sure why They do that & My life is serious business.

  4. The economy has nothing to do with it. I have 3 degrees and am profoundly deaf. I've applied to over 1,000+ jobs. I got hired twice. When I worked in each, the politics game I had to play with the hearing coworkers was not worth it to stay on the job. I've lived on SSI the last 11 years. The simple fact is: it's easier to hire a hearing person.

    1. This is what I've been trying to tell them since when I started blogging. But they (hearing) always seem to understate our statements of truth.

  5. It's sad to read what I've already known. I've been lucky 20 years ago, getting a job easily. Nowadays with the bad economy, unemployment and competing with hearing people, it's almost next to impossible to find a job.

    I've resorted to VR services. I've always took pride in myself in finding jobs on my own but it isn't working at this time. What I found interesting is VR charges people for finding jobs for them. If you are on SSI/SSD, it's free. I told them, why are you charging disabled/disability /injured people when the employment agencies do it for free? They couldn't give me an answer.

    15 years ago I went to an employment agency and they found me a job within a week. No fees. So you can imagine my surprise when VR services had to determine how much I would have to pay THEM to find me a job? Unreal.

    1. That's odd. I have never heard of such a thing. VR services do pay other employment agencies for people with disabilities to help their clients (who are on SSI/SSD) find a job.

      If you decide to pay VR services, there's no guarantee they'll find a job for you given the fact that they couldn't really help the SSI/SSD users get ready to work. Or maybe it's because it's free? I don't know.

      I guess it's better to go with employment agency that you used before.

  6. I m deaf brother 4 job fail how u help pls

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