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Deaf Job Seeker

I read Joyce Lain Kennedy’s Career Advice column and in last Sunday’s column, she provides advice to a deaf job seeker [may require free registration] who is struggling to find a job that doesn’t require telephone work. The writer also says that employers are reluctant to hire someone with a disability. I’m disappointed to read that as I rarely ran into this sort of problem since graduating college. Furthermore, I’m a full-time freelancer so I’m constantly “seeking new employers” in the form of clients. Perhaps, I’ve been lucky.
The only time I may have run into an employer who wasn’t comfortable with a deaf person was in high school — the retailer was the only one that didn’t accept me for the job. I even had the opportunity to work in a department store’s gift wrap shop in spite of the requirement to answer the phone. I turned it down because they believed I could handle the phone. It wasn’t a loss as I don’t have a talent for gift wrapping.
Anyway, Kennedy use professional athletes as an analogy. At the end of their professional sports career, they rely on their network of friends and family to open doors to a second career. Troy Aikman and Emmitt “Twinkletoes” Smith have done well in their post-football years. Kennedy points to DeafProfessional.net, a one-year-old web site covering deaf professional issues and profiles successful stories.
Sadly, Kennedy quotes a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)statistic saying that “only 55.8 percent of the disable community has a job.” SHRM is working with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to provide resources to employers on hiring people with disabilities.

1 comment

  1. lette

    well its against the law over here to disregard disabled people for jobs and the like!!

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