November 9, 2012 Alicia Castro 2Comment

Most people say that it’s best to inform your interviewers about your disability. Many times, I’ve informed my interviewers that I have a hearing loss. I regret telling them because my interviewers asked illegal questions. They asked questions that are not related to the job positions I applied for, but I answered them anyway. Whenever I mentioned I use hearing aids, I noticed that my interviews were very short, and in the end, the interviewers never followed up with me. I also noticed that my interviewers no longer wanted to ask me questions about the position, but about my personal life. They asked me questions such as “how well do you communicate over the phone, how many mistakes will you make, or why do you use hearing aids?” These types of questions made me feel incapable of working and not worthy for the position. I felt discriminated. I also felt that nobody wanted to hire me based on my disability. It’s true that I have a bachelor’s degree and that it shouldn’t be hard for me to get a job. Actually, it’s very difficult for me to get a job already knowing that a person who has a bachelor’s degree and no hearing loss is most likely to get the job.

Recently, I took a Human Resources Management in Public Organizations course at the University of La Verne, and learned from one of my professors that under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), I shouldn’t be asked illegal questions. The ADA law prohibits employers to discriminate against people with disabilities. Now that I have new hearing aids and hear better, I feel more comfortable to communicate and listen. While I am job searching, I will no longer inform my interviewers that I am hard of hearing. Hopefully, someone will hire me for my talents, expertise, experiences, and transferrable skills instead of discriminating. My advice for people living with hearing challenges is do not mention you are hard of hearing during your job interview unless it’s necessary. It’s best to mention it after you’re hired. Do not lose hope; someone will hire you for who you are.

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