As we all know, diversity is important in the workplace. Employers need to consider hiring people with disabilities. Yes, employers will probably have to make some accommodations for employees to thrive in the workplace, but the benefits outweigh the accommodation costs, which by the way, are minimal.

One of the reasons that Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals are excluded from the hiring process is that employers lack knowledge in the benefits of hiring someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. This untapped labour pool has skills, knowledge, and expertise which can fill the employment shortage gap in Ontario.

Andrew Greenberg from Contract sums it up quite nicely! Here are the benefits of hiring an individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing from his perspective and expertise:

Why should you go about hiring a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual for your business? Well, first and foremost, they’re human beings with lives, experiences, and skills just like anyone else. Being able to hear doesn’t necessarily make someone more efficient or better at handling certain tasks. There’s also the inherent benefits of a diverse workplace, which shouldn’t need to be explained. But, to put things in more specific terms, here are some tangible benefits to hiring such people.

Deaf and HH individuals are generally extremely adaptable. Lydia Callis writes:

“People who are deaf spend much of their lives finding ways to adapt within hearing culture. Because of this, deaf employees may exhibit impressive patience and flexibility in the face of a challenge.”

We’ve all experienced an employee who, when presented with a problem, simply locks up. They don’t pursue a solution, and they’ll only take action when pushed to do so. More often, they seem to use it as an excuse to do nothing. This is much less common with deaf employees, who are used to solving their own problems as necessary.

Deaf and HH individuals bring unique life experiences to the team. This is one of the biggest benefits of workplace diversity of any kind. Everyone has their own unique life experiences, with different pressures and different perspectives developed from their unique situations. Whether it’s the color of their skin, their gender presentation, or their disabilities, diverse employees bring unique thoughts to the table. There’s rarely a time where this isn’t beneficial to a company.

With deaf or hard-of-hearing employees, you can expect recommendations or suggestions for enhancing accessibility and accommodations for others with hearing loss, which can make your products, services, and marketing more acceptable and applicable to an entire audience you previously missed.

Deaf and HH individuals tend to be very loyal to their jobs. In a time when turnover is high and employee loyalty is tied more to a paycheck than a company, employee loyalty is a highly valued trait. Deaf individuals have a hard time finding a job – unemployment amongst the deaf is around 50%, though it depends on the precise definitions of both employment and hearing loss – so they know to value a job when they have it.

Deaf and HH individuals tend to be very detail-oriented. This can be beneficial in a few different ways. For example, deaf employees often take good notes during meetings with clients or customers, and those notes can be a valuable asset for the team after the meeting is over. These individuals are also frequently good at reading body language and developing an impression of the people around them. This gives them more insight into a variety of different situations.

We hope that after reading this information, that you are now open to hiring Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals. As you have read above, Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals have the skills and loyalty to thrive in any field. Diversity is a win win for all of us. Happy Hiring!

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Ronia Michael

Ronia Michael

Employment Specialist