Deaf people can't get jobs, WHY ? Mostly employers ARE to blame, but it isn't all one-way. There is some clear evidence they don't want deaf employees, (indeed anyone with a disability). Awareness has made little or no difference, they don't see deaf or disabled as 'positive'.
I venture to suggest deaf awareness is primarily to blame regarding stereotypes they thrive on them, many are misguided martyrs to some deaf cause and a constant pain to most of us. I saw one seminar by an deaf awareness group that frankly (If I were an employer), would put me off employing deaf people. The awareness facilitator started well enough about 'deaf can do everything except hear',which was fine if talking to deaf people, not if you are talking to someone else about a job, who then rapidly went off-topic and changed tack to state deaf history/discrimination/what employers have to do via law, how to speak to deaf people, it was lone long and continues LECTURE, not awareness.
Atypical statements were rolled out e.g. all Deaf sign, HI don't, there are D/d people etc, I saw 3 employers make excuses and walk out, they do NOT want to hear any of this, and they had paid to hear it. It isn't what employers can do for you, but what deaf can do for them, work isn't a charity (Or a social service as one employer told me). Much better they draw attention to deaf people's SKILLS, showed employers examples of what they can do, instead it was an hour long lecture on deaf history, culture, and rights. There was an 30 minute power point display of what employers MUST provide by law in the form of telephonic/language and other access. Of course they need to be aware,but primarily an employer wants to be convinced an deaf employee can do the WORK Offered and has the qualifications
Where are the examples employers can see ? Can employers be totally blamed for then thinking, what can the deaf do for me ? it is all about what I have to do for them, and I can get a migrant with no hearing loss and with far less contentions and expense. Some employers preferred to be fined for discrimination, rather than take on a worker they believed was non-productive or could sue them any time. One common theme employers came up with, was "If the deaf employee needs communication support, do I have to pay TWO people, two wages ?" It may sound a curious question, but I didn't see the awareness group answer that properly, it was "You have to supply this, that, and probably the other or ...".
It's 50-50 in the blame stakes with deaf awareness and Employer resistance equally to blame. The longer term issue of deaf not getting a viable education is a government issue, but even there we see two very different approaches to access and information. An equality law that offers opt-outs is toothless as well. I can't help thinking the deaf and others with hearing loss are NOT promoting ourselves in a positive way, employers aren't interested in deaf issues, the in-fighting is negative too, not only with us, but what image does it suggest to an employer ? It is about a CV not civil rights. basically it is "Who needs it..." If you are carrying your loss like a cross to bear it rapidly resemble an albatross to others....
It's a mess, who is to 'blame' for 68% of deaf people never getting a job anywhere near their skills too ? IS it employers ? or the poor image we project of ourselves, or allow paid deaf awareness areas to plug deaf martyrdom ? Deaf awareness needs a re-think and it needs an holistic approach too, we know what deaf require, what employers require is far more important, I wanted to now why they were reluctant and didn't want an 'In' to have a go. I asked British employers via the CBI for feedback, promising I would NOT use comments as a platform to accuse anyone, I just wanted to know what fears they had via disabled or deaf employees. They were too worried deaf would use the law to jump on them, so there we are, equality laws have made feedback impossibl too.