Presentation on theme: "Working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deafblind Employees State of Wisconsin Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing."— Presentation transcript:
Working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deafblind Employees State of Wisconsin Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Why Are We Here? More than 1/3 of the U. S. population has a significant loss of hearing by age 65. An estimated 500,000 Deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people reside in WI. Approximately 90% Deaf/HH are underemployed, 40% are unemployed. Gain an understanding of culture and communication needs of Deaf and hard of hearing. Learn how to provide accommodations and accessible services.
What do you call a person who can’t hear? Which terminology is appropriate? Definitions Deaf: “D” focus on a group of people who share a language (ASL), common life experience, history, and values (culturally deaf). Cultural association. deaf: “d” focus on inability to understand speech with or without an amplification. Disability association. Hard of Hearing: refers to those who have some hearing, are able to use it for communication purposes, who feel reasonably comfortable doing so. Deafblind: combination of varying degrees of both hearing and vision loss. Using an appropriate terminology is a good indicator of respect and understanding.
Communication and Language Deaf vs. hard of hearing Language preference Communication preference Cultural identity Effects of linguistic differences Education system based on English language and often not linguistically accessible. Exception: Residential Schools for the Deaf. Issue of incidental learning. Our society norms and unwritten rules often not learned. Expected behavior and reaction may not be present.
The Deaf Individual Language American Sign Language (ASL) ASL is a linguistically complete, natural language that is different from English language. ASL is a visual language while English is a spoken and written language. Third most used language in USA. Modes of communication Telecommunications technology Finger pointing and modeling is accepted. 25 % of the English language is visible on the lips
Deaf Culture Components of the culture Language ASL Speech not emphasized Heavy emphasis on eye contact and facial expression Values Perception that deafness is a culture, not a disability Medical treatment for hearing loss is unwanted Independence highly valued Customs Intermarriage Deaf children valued Group loyalty
The Hard of Hearing Individual Modes of communication Primary language: English Voice and lipreading Typically does not sign More likely to depend on technology to maximize use of residual hearing Self-Identification Perspective of hearing loss significantly different than Deaf perspective. Tend to either immerse among hearing people or form its own HH group to satisfy cultural/identity needs. Often an overlooked group.
Hearing Loss How hearing loss is measured Decibels (loudness) How loud a sound must be to be heard Speech Discrimination Of what you hear, how much is understood
Ramifications of Hearing Loss on English Competency 25% of English visible on the mouth Assumes knowledge of language being spoken Sound alikes, look alikes Oxymorons Wide range of ability Not dependent on degree of loss or intelligence Deaf “nod”
English Language He could lead if he would get the lead out. The bandage was wound around the wound. Pretty Ugly Act Naturally Good Grief Found Missing
Communication Tips Be aware of the environment. Make sure you get person’s attention first. Face the person when speaking. Don’t expect the person to be able to hear you if you speak towards his back. Maintain your voice level. Shouting often results in speech distortion and it displays negative visual signal to the listener. Be patient! If person nods head, don’t automatically assume he understands you.
Note Writing Keep the message short and simple. Don’t use “million dollar words” when a “one dollar word” will work. Try to minimize using yes/no questions. Avoid incorporating two ideas into one sentence. Use visual representations and explanations when possible. For employment activities such as job interview, job evaluation, training, and meetings; it is strongly recommended to ask the Deaf/HH person his/her accommodation preference. Often a Deaf person would prefer an interpreter and hard of hearing person would prefer a FM system.
Integrating Your Deaf or Hard of Hearing Employee “From Application to Retirement”
Interviewing Persons Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Provide company literature & information BEFORE the interview. Provide a summary of the interview process. Inform the receptionist you are expecting a deaf applicant. Provide appropriate accommodations as requested.
Paging devices Appointing a “buddy” Alerting devices Vibrations Alternative lighting Company related social activities Working Effectively With Persons Who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Meeting Accommodations Schedule meetings as far in advance as possible to allow time for arranging accommodations Ask Deaf/HH employee their preference for seating arrangements Provide any handouts BEFORE the meeting or allow time to look at handout before resuming discussion Set up ground rules for turn taking ONE person speaking at a time Avoid walking, or turning back to audience. Deaf/HH employee needs to see your face to enhance communication Notetaking is not an appropriate substitute for an interpreter during a meeting Impossibility of watching & writing at the same time If extensive notetaking will be needed, designate a someone to "share" their notes with Deaf/HH employee
Americans with Disabilities Act and Employers Limitations on making inquiries about disability Employer cannot make any pre-employment inquiry Employer may ask about ability to perform specific job functions With certain limitations, may ask individual to describe or demonstrate how s/he would perform job functions
Americans with Disabilities Act and Wisconsin Fair Employment Act Legal Requirements Covers employers Undue hardship Applicant or employee is responsible to inform employer of disability Individual with disability must be qualified for the job Satisfy requisite skill, experience, education, other job-related requirements With or without a reasonable accommodation
Americans with Disabilities Act When must an accommodation be made? Every stage of process: Job interview New employee training Benefits and company rules Staff meetings Continuing education training Job evaluation meeting Disciplinary meeting Transfer and promotion opportunities
Possible Accommodations Myth of “one size fits all Sign Language Interpreter Assistive Listening Device Pocket talker Real-time captioning TTY Voice amplified phone Relay service VRS/VRI E-mail Instant messenger
Interpreters Trained Professional Qualifications Code of Ethics Liability of hiring unqualified interpreters
Interpreting Services Know how to arrange for interpreter services when needed Plan important meetings well in advance Treat the interpreter as a professional. If a meeting lasts over two hours, two interpreters may be needed. Provide good lighting Speak directly to the deaf person. Interpreters facilitate communication between hearing & deaf individuals…they do not speak for the deaf person. Allow only ONE person to speak at a time Speak clearly & in a normal tone of voice.
Attitude is Everything! More in common than differences Communication takes two