According to a recent study, only 48% of the deaf community is working. This figure is lower than the 73% employment of the people with no hearing disability. Robin E. Perkins-Dock Ph.D , and co-authors mention that, “research indicates that even with increased professional training, legislative initiatives, and awareness to the needs of employees who are deaf, the employment rate of this population continues to be lower than their peers who can hear.” If this is the case, what is the main reason for this low unemployment rate? Are people discriminating them, or are there just no job opportunities for them? Psychologists say that is not the latter because there are various career offerings for deaf individuals out there. Let us uncover them.
Several deaf people are itching to help other individuals who have a similar disability. In the case of an audiologist, you are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing any hearing loss problem. Most of the work will entail you to monitor cochlear implants, teaching how hearing aids work, training these people on how to lip-read, and more.
This position will also put your sign language skills to use since you will mostly be talking to these people through this medium.
Are you aware that there is a high demand for social workers who can communicate with deaf individuals? The reason for this is that there is an increasing number of deaf clients who want to make a social difference in the world of the deaf. “Culturally sensitive and accessible services for deaf and hard of hearing people can often best be provided by social workers who are themselves deaf and hard of hearing, who have specialized language and communication skills, as well as unique cultural knowledge of this population at risk,” Martha A. Sheridan, Ph.D. and co-author explained. However, since they are not that knowledgeable about how to communicate with their target market, their efforts fail to materialize.
Social Media Manager
Being a social media manager is a more comfortable type of work since most of the action happens in the online world. You will be responsible for managing, creating, and maintaining ongoing online content, which will be market your client’s branding. This job will also entail you to create custom art, videos, images, and other promotional materials which can be posted to increase the visibility of the organization.
A social media manager must not only be creative, but he or she must also be data-savvy. This job also requires you to study your audience through the information from your online traffic. Analyzing all of these numbers will help you pinpoint all of the ongoing social trends happening, which will help you in the creation of your future content.
Sign Language Interpreter
Not a lot of people are familiar with the ins and outs of the American Sign Language. Hence, professional sign language interpreters are in demand. Only several individuals can communicate complex and technical information to the audience because this skill requires extensive training.
For you to practice this career, you will need a certification licensed by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Once you have this, you can take any work in this field and earn a minimum of $50,000 annually.
Now that there is an increasing trend in the use of search engine optimization (SEO), more and more companies hire writers who can boost their online presence. All you have to do is to conduct some data analytics based on your online audience and come up with articles which will satisfy the patterns and trends.
If you are not into this line of work but is still fond of writing, you can also try writing your book. You can use your hearing loss at your advantage and come up with a unique perspective of the world. This strategy was what Donald Harrington, Sara Novic, and Marlee Martin used to put their names out there.
Believe it or not, there are employment advocacy programs established for the deaf community. They not only introduce jobs to these people, but they also assist in acquiring their pre-employment requirements after they get hired. Also, many employment counselors partner with work agencies so that it will be easier for them to know which jobs are open or not.
Employment counselors work in rehabilitation centers, schools, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
The main focus area of speech-language pathologists is addressing communication and speech disorders – whether the patient is a child or an adult. These experts guide patients with language, hearing, speech, and swallowing issues, which may be a result of genetic disorder problems, hearing loss, brain injuries, and other learning and developmental disabilities.
Aside from helping these individuals with their problems, one of their tasks also includes educating the people around the patient. The parents and other family members receive additional lectures on the specifics on how to go about the recovery process of their loved one.
Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Ph. D. and collaborators wrote that, “deaf people were as likely to work full time as their hearing peers. This suggests that once deaf people obtain employment, they are just as likely to work full time as their hearing peers.” Aside from the jobs mentioned above, there are still a plethora of opportunities for the deaf community. You only have to know where to look and ask help, and you’ll find the right fit for you.