How You Find Jobs for Hard of Hearing People Without Learning The Hard Way

If you have hearing loss, you always ask one common question. It isn’t the same question others would consider if they don’t have hearing loss. It’s a question that seeks to find an answer to your hearing challenges. No matter the situation or where you live, the question becomes a habit.

People with hearing loss default to asking this question:

  • What are the jobs available for hard of hearing people?

It’s a common question that many deaf and hard of hearing ask themselves and others. There’s a reason why.

We want to avoid jobs that are holding us back.

When you are hard of hearing or deaf, considering earning an income isn’t what comes up first. The first thing that comes to our mind is how we can have a good career experience that isn’t littered with horrible experiences of ableism and microaggression. 

We want to find places where our hearing won’t feel like a liability and nothing will shatter our confidence in ourselves through work experiences. Ultimately, we want to avoid getting into a job that can have a long-term effect on our emotional well-being.

We need to work to live a good life.

Unemployment is high among the deaf and hard of hearing community. One bad experience can change the trajectory of one’s life so that one does not return to working for someone else again.

One thing is a given if you live in the Western world. That having a job is essential for your survival. We need a job to pay for our future and the present moment. Money can bring you a lot of access to places, experiences, and good health, and it can help us choose any hearing aid that works best for us.

Any situation that takes away our opportunity to work can put us into a spiral of depression and poverty that can affect what you and your family can and cannot do every day. It puts a ceiling on our potential, and the skills that we offer get wasted and left aside. Over time, we lose confidence in seeing how we can be valuable. It can impact future generations with widened social and economic status. 

We may not be lucky to find a positive environment.

Some are so lucky to have managers and coworkers who are supportive. These managers have strong empathy skills to dismiss our hearing loss as a weakness or burden to the organization. 

They can encourage us to try new assignments, give us the space to make mistakes, and build our confidence in our role until we get into a rhyme. They never use our hearing loss as an excuse to demonstrate our low performance.

When you are in a space like this, you should take note because this will positively affect your life and career experience for many years to come.

See also  How to ask for accommodations when you haven’t disclosed your hearing loss at work?

It’s difficult to progress and get promoted.

If you have had hearing loss for several years, you have experienced some form of ableism at one time. You start to believe what others say about you. Your confidence could be higher. You’re questioning your capabilities, and you feel that you need to choose your job very carefully. 

We don’t want to be in another situation where others constantly remind us that our weakness and hearing loss have no place in the office or on the job. It could be the comments your coworkers make, how they act frustrated at you for making mistakes on what they considered simple tasks, or how you suddenly seem to be excluded from activities or projects in the workplace. 

It’s exhausting trying to defend ourselves.

You may choose to avoid interacting with people.

It is natural, often strategic, to approach your job hunt to aim for work with little social interaction. The social stress that comes with hearing loss is natural.

We choose careers in IT, bookkeeping, tradesman, copy editor, Airbnb managers, delivery person, assembly lines, or farming. Just to avoid having to speak to anyone at the very minimum.

We may prefer to keep conversations with others within the organization, but not necessarily too many people. Often, non-profit organizations become an ideal choice for you. 

However, some people are extroverts and can’t avoid long periods without communication. People with hearing challenges have built careers that may interact with the public.

Jobs like office managers, travel advisors, nutritional coaches, daycare workers, teachers, personal trainers, property managers, nurses, retail clerks, and estheticians, hard of hearing and deaf people have done it all, and well.

You dislike tasks that require you to talk on the phone

The biggest complaint that comes up is any job responsibilities that involve the phone. No one can deny that without lip reading, the phone is a difficult one you would want to avoid. 

Jobs in call centers, reception,  and customer services fit this category.

Request accommodations to help increase your confidence on the phone. You are looking for a device that blocks all the background noise so that the only person you hear is the voice on the other line. 

It may take many tries to find the right product for you. Your employer may have some answers, but you can also help guide them. There are plenty of resources on lisnen.com to help you.

Accommodations won’t erase the possibility of encountering a mumbler or a soft talker who won’t change or adapt to meet you halfway. 

Come up with a plan when you are in situations like these. Sometimes role-playing what you would do in these circumstances in your mind or out loud will help prepare you when it happens.

See also  5 Ways Hearing Impaired Nurses Excel in Their Career

One thing you shouldn’t be doing is feeling like a failure because you can’t hear the other person. However, if you try all you can to build your confidence in a supportive work environment and it is still not working out, you can skip applying for jobs that expect you to always be on the phone.

Your experience at school impacts you.

Hearing challenges can make it difficult to access a good education, especially if you must go to school to qualify for a specific job. 

Careers in the legal field, medicine, or even trade schools require extensive training, leading to certifications that give you access to practice your profession.

It can only happen if your learning experience is a positive one. If you found it difficult to pass classes and your school could not provide inclusive programming, you might be unable to pass this milestone to help you get opportunities to work in your chosen field.

We prefer opportunities to work from home.

When you are at home, you have all the flexibility to behave in ways others would call you out for disturbance. When there is a video meeting, you can turn up the volume as loud as you want to hear clearly. You will be able to directly access sounds into your hearing aid without having to worry about the distraction of background noises.

No one will tell you that you are talking too loud because they can control the volume on their computer if it bothers them. 

Find a job that’s best for you.

We shouldn’t be navigating the world trying to hide ourselves and our hearing loss. We should be able to lead our lives and do the things where we feel we have a sense of purpose. 

We can also be curious at the same time. We are trying many things and growing our understanding of what we like and dislike. If choosing to work in solitude is where you thrive and feel the most purposeful, it’s for you to choose.

Just remember that we shouldn’t be living based on how other people will react in our presence. Live to recognize your potential.

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