Creating More Deaf Friendly Employers
Employers Benefit from Hiring Deaf and Hard of Hearing workers
The benefits of becoming a deaf friendly employer is becoming clearer everyday.
New research from Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities shows that companies who embrace best practices for hiring disabled people tend to outperform their competitors. For example, companies who had shown outstanding leadership in disability employment and inclusion had about 28 percent higher revenue, double the net income, and 30 percent higher profit margins.
Despite our knowledge that a diverse workforce has a positive impact on organizations, the employment rate among disabled people is still in need of improvement. To address this disparity within the deaf community, CSD Works is partnering with employers to change the perception of deaf and hard of hearing job seekers and ultimately create more deaf jobs.
Disabled employees show an 85% job-retention rate after one year.
“Deaf and hard of hearing people have unique capabilities and perspectives: better peripheral vision, spatial intelligence, and because they’re not distracted by other conversations and background noises, are more diligent, focused workers,” Davin Searls, Community and Corporate Partnership Manager explained. “All in all, disabled employees demonstrate and 85 percent job-retention rate after one year. Make your employees feel welcome, and they’ll stick with you.”
CSD Works: Creating a More Diverse Workforce.
“Job accommodations shouldn’t be viewed as a hassle,” says Megan Klusza, Career Services Coordinator. “They are ways to empower someone to be the best employee they can be.”
There are many misconceptions that providing accommodations is difficult and costly, which may add to an employer’s reluctance to hire DHH employees. For example, some employers are under the impression that a DHH employee will need an interpreter all day, every day. In reality, interpreters are primarily needed for things like meetings, trainings, group discussions, and interviews.
In fact, there are several simple and inexpensive accommodations workplaces can take to be in compliance with the ADA, and truly inclusive to people who are deaf and hard of hearing: having notebooks/pens available, clear directional signs, and rearranging furniture to have clear sight-lines.
Addressing these misconceptions is key to creating more deaf friendly employers.
By educating employers on how to make their organizations inclusive and accessible throughout the entire job cycle process – recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, retention – CSD Works does just that.
CSD Works collaborates with businesses, nonprofits, and policy makers to provide deaf awareness training, organize onsite ASL classes, develop on-boarding in ASL, complete workplace assessments, and workplace integration trainings so that organizations can become truly accessible to deaf job seekers and employees. They also provide free resources, like eGuides and webinars, for employers who want to make their place of work more inclusive.
And it’s working! Employers who have partnered with CSD Works to hire D/HH employees are impressed with how seamless the inclusion process is.
“Discovering additional accommodations for deaf associates that can be both relatively easy and inexpensive was very exciting,” explained Lisa Simental, Human Resource Manager. “We look forward to continuing to hire deaf and hard of hearing associates.”
CSD Works’ ultimate goal is to increase the economic power of the DDBDHH community. To do that, we need to create more deaf-friendly employers who, in turn, will create more deaf-friendly jobs.”
“We already know that [deaf people] are talented and skilled; we contribute our language, our culture, our knowledge, our perspective, to the workplace. Now, we need to make sure employers know that as well,” concluded Kristy Ramos, CSD Works Director.