Employment Success for People with Hearing Loss
Editor: The HLWork list recently had a very interesting discussion
regarding the movement of jobs offshore and how that affects people with
hearing loss. Rick Sinclair (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Sinclair, Nicholson
and Associates (SNA) provided some valuable insights on how a person
with hearing loss can succeed in the workplace. BTW, Rick consults
throughout Canada on hearing loss in the workplace, so he knows his
If you'd like to join the HLWork group, send an email to:
I have done time on the lecture circuit here in Canada on this very
subject, talking to groups with, and about, hearing loss. Some of the
1. Don't assume a social safety net will catch you. It is far more
satisfying to take your life and career in your own hands and figure out
how to make a go of it.
2. Plan a career with a clear acceptance of what you personally can
or cannot do. Train and or educate yourself accordingly. Our difficulty
in communication tends to breed people with a higher than average level
of determination. This is a clear advantage in the work world. In my own
case, I hire "ears" where I need them.
3. Do not assume that success is defined by the high level of a job.
If you love what you do, its better than being Bill Gates - unless, for
a fact, you ARE Bill Gates.
4. In line with (3), and quoting from "What Colour is Your
Parachute?" Find something you love so much you would do it for
free, then find a way to make money doing it. You will have a very happy
career, and chances are, a very successful one.
5. Realize that communication is a two way street, and the hearing
person is as terrified as you are of making a mistake. You have the
advantage of knowing what the problem entails. Share your knowledge, and
try and make the other person comfortable in the process. Having allies,
not enemies, in the workplace is a definite advantage.
6. Probably most important of all, do not become defined by your
disability. We all have talent, skills, and insights that have nothing
to do with how well we hear, and to concentrate on hearing alone is to
deny ourselves opportunity. If there is something you were born to do,
post a note to yourself on the mirror where you can see it every
morning: "YES, I CAN!"