Many people with hearing loss are often intimidated at the thought of job-hunting and working in a new environment. They may be wondering if there are roles and workplaces out there that are suitable for them.
I worked with hard of hearing (HOH) and deaf colleagues in an advertising company many years ago. My experiences with them showed me that a condition like hearing impairment is easy to manage as long as individuals have skills that match their jobs. Just like in people with normal hearing, compatibility with a job largely depends on skills.
Hearing loss does not need to hinder a person’s goals in life. While there may be certain jobs that require a certain level of hearing ability, there are many others that can be great careers.
Through careful planning, a person with hearing loss can find a job that fits them well. And thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses are now no longer allowed to discriminate against people with disabilities. They are also required to make accommodations for such employees.
Here are some job positions suitable for people with hearing loss:
Sign Language Interpreter or Translator
People with hearing loss who know how to communicate through American Sign Language (ASL) could use their skills as professional translators and interpreters. They can undergo training to interpret spoken language to a deaf audience using ASL.
To be a certified Deaf Interpreter, they need certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). The RID website offers resources for people looking to pursue a career as an interpreter.
Teacher for Students With Special Needs
Schools and institutions for deaf and hard-of-hearing students are always looking for qualified teachers who can communicate with the students. A knowledge of ASL will come in handy in teaching subjects like math, science, and literature.
To pursue this career path, candidates need to have at least a bachelor’s degree with a specialty in deaf education or ASL.
A career in social work is very welcoming for deaf and HOH individuals. There is always a need for social workers who can communicate with deaf clients.
Organizations exclusively serving the deaf community also appreciate the input that people with hearing loss can contribute when planning and implementing support services for the deaf.
Individuals interested in social work need to have a bachelor’s degree at the very least.
Graphic Artist or Illustrator
The arts have always been a field especially conducive to people with hearing loss. Whether it’s in the field of graphic design or physical illustration, deaf and HOH persons with artistic talents will find it rewarding to pursue a career in the arts.
My deaf colleague Hannah, for example, was such a valuable addition to our advertising team. Her excellent design skills made her a perfect fit for the job.
Speech and Language Pathologist
As more people are getting cochlear implants, language pathology is an excellent field to get into for a deaf or HOH person. Language pathologists can help kids and adults adapt to their cochlear implants or similar hearing devices.
Interested persons will need to attend a program accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Council on Academic Accreditation.
Being an audiologist is a logical fit for people with hearing loss. They can diagnose, prevent, and treat hearing loss problems. Their deep knowledge of the struggles with hearing impairment gives them a unique ability and instinct to grasp the concerns of people who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss.
Many jobs in healthcare fields are suitable for deaf or HOH people. They can work directly with patients as nurses, sonographers, radiologists, or medical lab technologists.
Deaf or HOH individuals interested in pursuing a career in healthcare can find valuable resources by joining the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses.
Web Designer or Developer
Creating attractive layouts and designs to help businesses succeed can be a satisfying job for people with hearing loss. Without having to communicate extensively, they can showcase their skills and talents through their work.
Another upside to a web designer or developer career is its availability as freelance work. Designers and developers can work in the comfort of their homes.
To start a career in web design, an in-depth understanding of programming codes, visual design, user design, and experience is crucial. It’s also essential to be familiar with the software used in web development.
Writer, Editor, or Proofreader
Working with words is another job suitable for deaf and HOH people.
Since writing is primarily a solitary job, it offers minimal engagement in the way of communication. Instead, the page becomes the deaf or HOH person’s avenue to communicate and express their unique thoughts.
Social Media Manager or Marketing Strategist
A career in social media marketing and management like what digitalspotlight.com.au is offering calls for skills in writing, research, graphic design, and other related abilities. Individuals can work in the office or at home as a freelancer.
Daycare Provider for Hearing-Impaired Children
Parents of deaf or HOH children may find it difficult to leave their kids in a daycare center for fear that the daycare might not be able to communicate with their child or respond to their developmental needs.
These situations are where daycare providers living with hearing loss themselves can offer great comfort. Parents knowing that they are entrusting their children to someone who has gone through similar struggles will make them feel more at ease.
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