NETAC Teacher Tipsheet
Job Search SEARCH
“I am looking for a job.” These words can strike important. Look at the student while speaking;
terror in the hearts of the most stalwart people. Like don’t talk while chewing gum or food, or put
buying a house or a car, getting married, or having a your hand over your mouth. Sit where the light is
baby, looking for a job is a challenge we experience on your face, rather than at your back.
only a few times in our lives. • Communicating with potential employers during
the job search: Questions that can be addressed
Nearly every job seeker will experience feelings of here are: How will employers contact me? How
frustration, confusion, and the emotional roller will I contact them? How will I handle the
coaster of hope and dashed hopes when the interview? Will I need an interpreter? There is no
inevitable rejection letters appear in the mailbox. one set of correct answers as the student’s
Students who are deaf may experience additional ability to communicate will vary with the
frustrations dealing with reluctant employers, who individual.
may doubt their abilities, have erroneous stereotypes
concerning deafness, and inaccurate information Disclosure
regarding accommodations. However, in spite of the This issue concerns when and if students disclose
hard work that must go into a successful job search their hearing loss to potential employers. The choice
and the accompanying negative emotions, looking for will be up to the student. However, there are several
a job can be a rewarding, exciting, and growth- options: in the cover letter, in the resume, when the
producing experience. Having the right perspective, a employer calls for an interview, at the interview,
positive attitude, and adequate support can make all when a job offer is made, and after the offer is
the difference. accepted. There are pros and cons to each option. It
is often suggested that the student wait to disclose
Strategies for a successful job search do not vary for until there is an offer for an interview. More
students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Therefore, information about this topic can be found in Job
this information will not be repeated here. However, Strategies for People with Disabilities by Melanie Witt.
there are some issues that should be considered if
the student is going to be successful. These are Accommodations
communication strategies, disclosure as a job seeker The Americans with Disabilities Act has information
who is deaf or hard of hearing, and accommodations. that applies to all persons with disabilities. However,
it is necessary to disclose the need for
Communication accommodation before the employer is obligated to
This topic has two areas of concern: How will provide it.
support staff communicate with the student? How
will the student choose to communicate with On-Campus Resources
potential employers? • The Career Services Office can help with resume
• Communicating with the student: The best way and cover writing skills, interviewing workshops,
to settle this dilemma is to ask the student which job postings, and on-campus recruiting. Some
is his or her preferred form of communication. centers offer career counseling, testing, and
There is a wide range of communication abilities academic planning. The Counseling Center will
and preferences among people who are deaf and offer career and personal counseling. If necessary,
hard of hearing. Once a mode is decided upon, it take the student and introduce him or her to the
is important to remember that eye contact is staff in these offices.
• Additional resources (World wide web) • Print resources
Sites for employers: – Witt, M.A. (1992). Job Search Strategies for
– NTID’s Center on Employment: People with Disabilities. Peterson’s Guides:
www.rit.edu/NTID/CO/CE Princeton, NJ.
– Ryan, D.J. (2000). Job Search handbook for
Sites for people with disabilities: people with disabilities. JIST: Indianapolis, IN.
– Job Accommodation Network – Job Search Handbook for People with
www.jan.wvu.edu Disabilities, Ryan, D.J., 2000;
– The President’s Committee on Employment of – Tips for Communicating with Deaf and Hard
People with Disabilities of Hearing People (available from NTID)
www50.pcepd.gov/pcepd/ – Let’s Communicate: Basic Signs and Tips for
– Vocational Rehabilitation Communicating with Deaf People (available
http://trfn.clpgh.org/srac/state-vr.shtml from NTID)
Sites concerning deafness: • Vocational rehabilitation: many students who
– NTID’s Center on Employment are deaf and hard of hearing have vocational
www.rit.edu/NTID/CO/CE rehabilitation counselors who may be able to
– National Deaf Education Network and assist them in their job search. Check your local
Clearinghouse www.gallaudet.edu/~nicd/ phone book for the office nearest you. Look
index.html under the heading, “State Government.” VR
– About.com http://deafness.about.com/health/ programs may be found under various
deafness departments: Education; Labor; Human Services;
– Job seeking by deaf and hard-of-hearing people Rehabilitative Services, etc.
For more information, contact: This NETAC Teacher Tipsheet
Northeast Technical Assistance Center was compiled by Debbie
Fister, employment advisor,
Rochester Institute of Technology 585-475-6433 (V/TTY) National Technical Institute
National Technical Institute for the Deaf 585-475-7660 (Fax) for the Deaf, Rochester
52 Lomb Memorial Drive Email: email@example.com Institute of Technology,
Rochester, New York.
Rochester, NY 14623-5604 http://netac.rit.edu
This publication was developed in 2000 under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and produced through a cooperative
agreement between RIT and OSERS (H078A60004). The contents herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education’s policy nor endorsement by the Federal Government.