The Challenges of Job Search in Deaf Individuals

Let that picture soak in for a bit.

It’s a true story for all of us with hearing loss. A sad one too. That’s why it’s best to wait to reveal your disability at the job interview. Many employers will regard your disability as weakness. You’re not able to communicate quickly as a hearing person does. You’re seen as incapable and incompetent. So on and so forth.

I can’t hear the phone. Upon emailing a prospective employer, I once revealed a text reply request on my resume and I quote unquote “Unfortunately, you are not the right fit for the position at this time. I do recommend removing, “Text only please” from your resume, as this may turn off prospective employers.”

No shit. I think about situations like this all the time. I overthink a lot of things. “What if she emailed me back and asked me why first?” “What did she really think about the reason I have that imprinted on my resume?” “Should I have not put a phone number on it then?” It drove me crazy to tears. Being the person with the positive outlook on life, I had to brush it off because it’s really their loss.

Even when I stayed positive, it stung a shit ton. It will make you bitter. It made me think horribly of people. Do yourself a favor, crawl in bed, cry your heart out for a bit then wipe those tears off your face and remind yourself that you’re a better person than this.

When you go to an interview and reveal your hearing loss, you should expect them to make accommodations for an interpreter, not MAKE YOU get one yourself. If they do, it’s discrimination and you have all rights to go to the American Disability Act, file a complaint, and the U.S. Equal Employer Opportunity Commission Act will come after them.

I did not need an interpreter, but I did explain the needs I have. I tell them I’m deaf, I can’t hear on the phone, I will struggle with co-workers wearing a mask, requested they don’t walk away and talk at the same time, etc. All of my interviews, they hesitated but I’m a person of honor and do the best I can at my jobs with the best intent possible.

Kill them with kindness. If you feel discriminated, report it. If you’re uncomfortable, walk away. Don’t fear putting disability on the forefront. It doesn’t define you. It’s them who defines you and don’t let them make you small.

2 thoughts on “The Challenges of Job Search in Deaf Individuals

  1. Another deaf girl says:

    Everyday coming home from work leaves me in a stressed out state as a deaf individual struggling to work with insensitive and ignorant coworkers. This has caused me a big weight gain that I struggle to get off. Stress caused overeating for comfort. There has to be a better way


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