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Embracing the Elephant in the Room: Interviewing Ideas for Applicants who are Deaf Julia Smith, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Western Oregon University Partners Building.

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Presentation on theme: "Embracing the Elephant in the Room: Interviewing Ideas for Applicants who are Deaf Julia Smith, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Western Oregon University Partners Building."— Presentation transcript:

1 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,

2 What is meant by “Elephant in the Room”? 2

3 Competition for Employment Employment rate for those with disabilities - 35% Employment rate for persons with no disability - 78% (NOD, 2007) 3

4 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

5 Laws that Protect Persons with Disabilities EEOC ADA – 20 th Anniversary – Helpful to deaf employees? 5

6 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

7 Professional Etiquette First impressions are critical – Present yourself as a professional at all times Understand your role as a job seeker – – Meeting people at conference Ethical considerations – “Deaf grapevine” – On-line communication 7

8 Prepare for Interview: Know the Job 8

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 Interviewing Skills 12

13 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

14 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

15 Business and Budget 15

16 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

17 Recognize Disability Fatigue 17

18 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

19 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

20 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

21 Julia Smith, Ph.D., LPC, CRC Rehabilitation Counselor Education Western Oregon University Monmouth, Oregon (V) (VP) 21

22 References Acemoglu, D., & Angrist, J. D. (2001). Consequences of employment protection? The case of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Journal of Political Economy, 109, Bruyére, S. M., Ericson, W. A., Ferrentino, J. T. (2003). Identity and disability in the workplace. William & Mary Law Review, 44, Courtwright, A. M. (2009). Justice, stigma, and the new epidemiology of health disparities. Bioethics, 23, 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 ). 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, 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, 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, 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, Peck, B, & Kirkbride, L. T. (2001). Why businesses don’t employ people with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 16,


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