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Employment resources for people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing

There are several laws that protect people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing in the workplace. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. 

ADA Amendment Act (ADAAA) The ADA Amendment Act focuses on discrimination. It makes important changes to how disability is defined. 

Title I: Employment Employers with 15 or more employees may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees with disabilities, unless it causes an undue hardship. For more information about Title I, contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 800-669-4000 (voice) or 800-669-6820 (TTY). 

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights protects Minnesotans from discrimination due to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability and age in connection with employment, housing, public accommodations, public services and education. 

Finding accessible jobs or on-the-job resources

The following resources for job seekers and employees who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing can be helpful in connecting you with accessible employers and helping your employer navigate providing accommodations on the job.  

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. It offers free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. You may find the following resources helpful:

The State of Minnesota aspires to be a leader in employing individuals with disabilities. For some individuals with disabilities, traditional interviewing, assessment, selection, and testing methods may not accurately measure their skills and abilities to perform the required job responsibilities. Connect 700 provides another path to a state job for people with certain disabilities.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development offers employment resources to assist people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing or who have disabilities in their job search. Vocational Rehabilitation counselors at these programs know about disabilities, workplace demands, and community resources. They can help you choose the best pathway to employment. And regardless of where you live in Minnesota, the St. Paul Deaf and Hard of Hearing Vocational Rehabilitation Service counselors can provide services and consultation.  

The Minnesota Employment Center offers career solutions for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing communities. The MEC team collaborates and works with people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing of all work backgrounds to discover new skills, explore career opportunities and find meaningful employment.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) National Employment Resource Center is another great source of information and resources for your job search, and understanding the laws that protect your access to communication at work.   

Fact sheets 

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