Busting Myths about Employing Deaf Employees
I can communicate with customers and I am deaf
For you, communicating with a Deaf or hard of hearing person might be a new experience, but for a Deaf person, they’ve been doing it their whole life. Deaf people have plenty of strategies for communicating in all circumstances, like using visual cues and gestures, signage and writing, and technology like text-to-voice apps. It’s a lot easier than you think!
I understand workplace safety and I am Deaf
People who experience hearing loss have been paying attention and assessing their environment, looking for the best and safest way to live their life. They are well equipped to follow safety plans in line with standard protocols. Expression Australia also works with employers and employees to make workplace modifications so that the workplace is even safer for all.
I am adaptable and I am Deaf
Deaf people are always adapting to their environment. When you hire a Deaf person, Expression Australia supports employers and employees to make workplace adjustments. And, it’s a free service! Whether it’s adding a mirror to increase visibility, or a light to the doorbell, or tweaking the communication process, support is available to make the transition easy for both employee and employer.
I am a good driver and I am Deaf
How many times have you driven or ridden with earphones in or the radio blaring? Plenty! Because you know that being able to hear is just one part of driving, and you are always looking around you. Deaf and hard of hearing people are good drivers too! They are especially aware of their surroundings.
I don’t use Auslan and I am deaf
Just because a person has noted on an application form that they are deaf or hard of hearing, it doesn’t mean that they use Auslan. Not all deaf or hard of hearing individuals use Auslan. Auslan isn’t used by many hard of hearing people and even some deaf people don’t know it or use it. It varies from person to person! By using visual gestures or writing you can still communicate together.
I am great at my job and I am Deaf
You don’t need to hear to be good at your job. Deaf and hard of hearing people have the same range of skills, interests and aptitude that anyone else does. Not only that, they bring a unique perspective and different life experience to the workplace and are very adaptable.
My job is challenging and I am Deaf
Like all people, Deaf and hard of hearing people have a range of education, skills, experiences and interests, which means they do a range of different jobs! Whether it’s a courier, visual merchandiser, community support worker, customer service worker in a shop or a manager, being Deaf does not affect someone’s ability to be successful in life or their role.
I can sense danger and I am Deaf
When the fire alarm goes off at work, what is the first thing you see? People moving in a huge group towards the emergency exits, flashing red lights, and there is the smell of smoke. The alarm is not the only way to know if there is an emergency! Not to mention, in a fire emergency, a fire warden is tasked with making sure all people have left the building safely.
I can talk and I am deaf
Not all people are completely deaf, many are hard of hearing, meaning they have hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. Many deaf people became deaf later in life, or have a hearing device and have learnt to talk. Many deaf and hard of hearing people use a combination of Auslan, lip reading and talking to communicate with others.
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