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Ask MNCDHH: Tell Me about Employment (Part 1)

You ask, we answer

9/5/2018 2:31:03 PM

A woman is at her desk in front of an open laptop. She has a pen in her hand.

MNCDHH received similar questions about employment options for people who are deaf, deafblind & hard of hearing and what they can do if they believe they are experiencing employment discrimination. To address a topic that many people have questions about, we decided to create a three-part series on employment. 

Part 1: I am deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing OR I am starting to lose my hearing. I am also looking for employment. Will my hearing affect my job search?

Figures from the American Community Survey (ACS) and other related data sources show that hearing loss is the most common type of disability in Minnesota and in the United States.

According to a 2011 research study conducted by a group of researchers at John Hopkins University, one out of five in the U.S. population twelve years of age and older experience some degree of hearing loss. However, an individual with hearing loss of any type or level should remain optimistic about their career aspirations and about finding employment opportunities. 

Recent statistics from the ACS indicate that among the six known types of disabilities, the people who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing have the highest employment rate in Minnesota and nationwide. Deaf people who work full-time report average annual earnings that are comparable to the general population. The advancements in technology and medical solutions, services offered by various Minnesota state agencies and nonprofits, and the relative affordability of accommodations needed for hearing loss have led to better labor force outcomes.      

Job seekers who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing are encouraged to register with the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) or State Services for the Blind (SSB) to find out if they are eligible for employment services, including job development and placement, and to determine the kinds of reasonable accommodations needed for pre- and post-employment.

Job search resources

For help with the job search, check out:

Coming next

Next week, we will share information for individuals who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and are searching for resources for their current place of employment.

Additional information

  • Special thanks to Mohamed Mourssi-Alfash (MNCDHH board member), Elise Knopf (DEED), and Sheila Ritter (Minnesota Employment Center) for their contributions to this newsletter series.
  • Learn more about the state's Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
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  • Do you have a question for MNCDHH? Send us your questions!

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