Are you interested in top jobs for the deaf and hearing impaired? When I was given the assignment to write this piece (some are assigned, some are not) I felt a sense of trepidation. I firmly believe in the motto that has circulated around Hollywood and elsewhere regarding representation in culture; “It can’t be about us without us” is a mantra I live by, and this topic is no exception.
Transparency alert: I am a veteran with VA-rated disabilities that include hearing damage. While I suffer from hyperacousia and tinnitus, I do not suffer from total hearing loss. It’s difficult to gauge the true extent of the hearing damage I received while serving, but for the purposes of this article, I don’t consider myself hearing impaired in the same way that those who require assistive devices have impairment.
And there’s the rub, really. And I decided to approach this article from a different standpoint–what do the deaf and hearing impaired have to say about the top jobs for them? What do THEY feel are the top five jobs for the deaf and hearing impaired?
One site that popped up in my research on this topic was Hear-It.org, which describes itself as the “number one site on hearing and hearing loss”. A quote jumped out at me there. “Almost 60 percent” of the respondents for a particular survey by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf in the United Kingdom said the attitude of the employer presents a major hurdle when seeking employment as a hearing-impaired person.
This led me to believe that trying to single out five career options for those who suffer from hearing-related issues is less relevant than finding resources for those who need to find jobs and want to find companies and employers they feel could be allies, rather than feeling they are walking into an unfriendly, possibly discriminatory interview situation.
Associations For The Deaf And Hearing Impaired
One helpful resource that came up in my research? The Hearing Loss Association Of America, which provides a clearinghouse of information including links to disability law, federal resources for job seekers, and private-sector job boards including
- Getting Hired.Com – (matching employees with disabilities with participating employers)
- Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
- Job Opportunities for Disabled American Veterans
These job resources can provide help for those interested in meeting employers keen on providing accessible workplaces and inclusive environments. Some job seekers don’t need such third-party assistance, others may thrive on it. The key is knowing what kind of person you are and taking full advantage of the resources available to you.
Here is a list of resources (some may feature job boards, some may not) that can be especially helpful for those who may have a new diagnosis and need help finding some of their initial go-to sources for help:
- The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- The Association of Late-Deafened Adults
- Hard of Hearing Advocates
- National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Joe Wallace is a writer and editor from Illinois. He was an editor and producer for Air Force Television News for 13 years, and has served as Managing Editor for publications including Gearwire.com, and Associate Editor for FHANewsBlog.com. He is also an experienced book and script editor specializing in non-fiction and documentary filmmaking.