Embracing the Elephant in the Room: Interviewing Ideas for Applicants who are Deaf Julia Smith, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Western Oregon University Partners Building Bridges: Overcoming Challenges through Leadership and Collaboration SCD Conference August 24, 2010 1 What is meant by “Elephant in the Room”? 2 Competition for Employment • Employment rate for those with disabilities - 35% • Employment rate for persons with no disability - 78% (NOD, 2007) 3 Discrimination and Bias in the Workplace • Current literature – Employers have a positive attitude toward people with disabilities BUT – Employers are reluctant to hire people with disabilities • 19% of companies employ people with disabilities • 72% say the nature of their work is too challenging for people with disabilities 4 Laws that Protect Persons with Disabilities • EEOC • ADA – 20th Anniversary – Helpful to deaf employees? 5 Searching for a Job is a Job • Four hours a day is recommended • Keep a consistent schedule • Focus on the resume – Customize objectives for specific job – Chronological is best – Functional good when there are gaps – Use same language as the web page or from an informational interview 6 Professional Etiquette • First impressions are critical – Present yourself as a professional at all times • Understand your role as a job seeker – Email – Meeting people at conference • Ethical considerations – “Deaf grapevine” – On-line communication 7 Prepare for Interview: Know the Job 8 Employer Concerns • Lack of knowledge of disability or the ADA • Don’t know how to interview individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing • Concern of how co-worker and deaf or hard of hearing employee will interact • Reasons why employers don’t grant accommodations – Undue burden – too difficult/expensive – Fundamental alteration – change actual job – Safety or direct threat • Lack of exposure to success stories 9 What Employer Really Wants to Know • What will I need to do differently to supervise this individual? • What can I expect from this individual in terms of production? Will I need to compromise what I ask her to do? • Can I use my normal approach to correct/discipline the worker? • What else do I need to know that I don’t even know to ask? 10 Interview Preparation • Always request an informational interview • Work with others to help develop skills • “Practice” as much as possible (doesn’t matter where) • Go through mock interviews • Try different strategies • Understand the ADA and meaning of “Reasonable Accommodations” – Example of when you might need an interpreter – Useable technology 11 Interviewing Skills 12 Disability Disclosure “Certainly, if you know that your condition is one that you know is going to come up it’s probably a good idea to take the bull by the horns and maintain control of the information flow and disclose it as soon as possible.” *Nancy Starnes, NOD, Director of External Affairs • Judgment call/personal decision • Paint picture of who you are – Disability is only a part of who you are 13 ADA - Rules Change During Employment 1. Applying for a job – Employer limited at interview – Focus of questions on the ability to do the job 2. Employer makes a job offer – Rules change – Must ask the same question to all – Must be consistent – Job offer withdrawn only with clear evidence 3. Offered job and begins job – Employer can ask questions related to disability if employee is struggling with getting the job done 14 Business and Budget 15 Employer Incentives • Budget is always a concern for employers • Most aimed at non-state agencies with less than $1,000,000 – Reported average return of $28.60 in benefits for every dollar invested in accommodations – Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) – Small Business Tax Credit: IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit 16 Recognize Disability Fatigue 17 • Examine attitude/issues that may come up • Find support to help work through frustration/anger • Present yourself as fresh and excited • Be curious and maintain “I/Thou” relationship 18 Sell Yourself • Coordinate your individual needs and the company objectives • Focus on questions of essential function or ability to do the job • Show how you can be part of a team • Build trust/reassurance • Be powerful about what you are saying 19 • Directly address issues • Show that you can perform at same high quality level, but that you might get the job done differently – Give examples • Give examples of other agencies who hire deaf workers – Have references available • Remember employers are concerned about budget, safety, and inclusion 20 Julia Smith, Ph.D., LPC, CRC Rehabilitation Counselor Education Western Oregon University Monmouth, Oregon 97361 503-838-8744 (V) 866-724-5141 (VP) email@example.com 21 References • Acemoglu, D., & Angrist, J. D. (2001). Consequences of employment protection? The case of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Journal of Political Economy, 109, 915-957. • Bruyére, S. M., Ericson, W. A., Ferrentino, J. T. (2003). Identity and disability in the workplace. William & Mary Law Review, 44, 1173-1197. • Courtwright, A. M. (2009). Justice, stigma, and the new epidemiology of health disparities. Bioethics, 23, 90-96. • DeLeire, T. (2003). The Americans with Disabilities Act and the employment of people with disabilities. In D. C. Stapeton & R. V. burkhauser (Eds.). The decline in employment of people with disabilities: A policy puzzle (pp. 259-275). Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute. • Hernandez, B. (2000). Employer attitudes toward workers with disabilities and their ADA employment rights: A literature review. Journal of Rehabiltation, 66, 4-16. • Houston, K., Lammers, H. B., & Svorny, S. (2010). Perceptions of the effect of the public policy on employment opportunities for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 21, 9-21. • Houtenville, A. (2002). Appendix. In P. Lennie & S. B. Van Hemel (Eds.), Visual impairments: Determining eligibility for Social Security benefits. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. • Larson, D. (2008). Unconsciously regarded as disabled. UCLA Law Review, 56, 451. • Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. C. (2001). Conceptualizing stigma. Annual Review of Sociology, 27,353-385. • McMahon, B. T., & Hurley, J. E. (2008). Discrimination in hiring under the Americas with Disabilities Act: An overview of the national EEOC ADA research project. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 18, 103-105. • Peck, B, & Kirkbride, L. T. (2001). Why businesses don’t employ people with disabilities. Journal of22 Vocational Rehabilitation, 16, 71-75.
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