Campaign seeks more employment opportunities for deaf, hard of hearing

Sep 1, 2020, 5:00 PM | Updated: 9:13 pm

Loli, a teacher, user of intra-channel hearing aids sends messages while working in her living room...

Loli, a teacher, user of intra-channel hearing aids sends messages while working in her living room. (Photo by Óscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images)(Photo by Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images)

(Photo by Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — KTAR’s Community Spotlight is focusing on the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and its new campaign to help the community of those who are deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind find employment.

“Employers are missing the opportunity to reach out and recruit hard of hearing (and the) deafblind community for employment opportunities,” the commission’s executive director Sherri Collins told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Collins went on to say there are 1.1 million people in the deaf/hard of hearing community in Arizona who are able to work. She said 50% of those in the community nationwide are not currently in the work force, but could be.

“We are ready to work. We want to work,” Collins said.

Creative advancements and technology have made it easier for employers to acclimate deaf and hard of hearing employees into the workforce.

Employers who are concerned about added cost and training should not be.

“Some of the accommodations are very simple and it can be using technology. There’s captioning available, there’s video and there’s apps,” Collins said.

“There’s just so many types of accommodations that can be not very expensive at all.

“We can offer those recommendations for employers.”

The campaign called Let’s Get To Work lists more information on its website, ChangeYourPerception.Org.

Although each potential employee may have situation-specific requirements to perform the job, the ACDHH is committed to helping employers tap into this under-utilized community of workers.

“We’re ready to work. We have the resources and the skills,” Collins said.

The ACDHH is reaching out directly to the business community to help make these possibilities a reality.

According to a release, the Let’s Get To Work campaign lists benefits to hiring employees out of the deaf and hard of hearing community including qualities such as employee adaptability, loyalty, innovation and solid work ethics.

According to the ACDHH Facebook page, September is Deaf Awareness Month.

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Campaign seeks more employment opportunities for deaf, hard of hearing