People all over the United States, 1 in 10 of those people have some type of hearing loss. In that group of people with hearing loss there are people who have very different degrees of hearing loss. They may use different words to identify themselves based on the severity of their loss, and their cultural affiliation and language. There are some people that describes themselves as deaf, other people describe themselves as culturally Deaf. Still other people use the term hard-of-hearing to identify themselves. People who are Hard-of-hearing may use American Sign Language to communicate, but many hard of hearing people do not use sign. Still other people are deaf plus blind – they are called Deaf-blind. So there is a lot of variety in those groups in regard to their identify, the accommodations that they need in the health care setting and in their language choice.
The thing that these groups of people have in common is that they want equal access to different services. They may need services such as therapy or counseling or services such as physical therapy.
If you can learn sign language or if you are familiar with assistive devices and audiology or If you’re considering a career in a different and rewarding field please consider working with people who deaf, Deaf-blind or hard of hearing as a career choice. There are job opportunities if you want to work with children in schools and in counseling fields. Maybe you don’t want to work with children; you want to work with adults. There are many related job opportunities for you too if you are interested. Maybe you have taken some classes in therapy or in education and you’ve been involved with physical therapy classes of different types, and you’ve recently started taking sign language classes and you’ve been exposed to Deaf Culture and you’re realizing now that deaf people have a variety of needs and that perhaps the major that you’re studying could be in alignment with what the Deaf Community could use. You can always use your sign language skills or knowledge about audiology in many different service related fields.
People with hearing loss and others in The Deaf Community want to become more involved themselves in different types of services and professions. Deaf people put their children in daycare, hard-of-hearing people have their children in daycare, and they want their children (deaf or hearing) to interact with other children. So no matter what career you chose to pursue, knowledge in sign language and audiology will serve you well!!!
The Deaf Community is very interested in improving their quality of life. They want interesting careers for themselves as well!! So for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or deaf-blind, there is a variety of jobs that you can look into. Careers related to counseling or working in a daycare center, or working in a classroom, or becoming a rehabilitation counselor are rewarding fields to consider.
You could become a play therapist who would be able to sign. You could consider becoming a social worker or therapist who could sign. There are a variety of fabulous jobs available these days and there are not enough social workers or therapists right now in the country who are skilled in the area of working with Deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing people.
The University of Pittsburgh offers many of the classes that we just discussed. Other colleges in the area have related classes as well. Maybe it’s time for you to think about your major combined with an interest that you have in sign language and Deaf Culture or audiology and think about how your two interests can complement each other for a unique career niche for yourself.
To find out more information about the University of Pittsburgh careers, visit their website, http://www.careers.pitt.edu. Thank you!