For the Deaf, an Impressive Resume Is Not Enough

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Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Two Master’s Degrees, 1,000+ Applications, Still No Full-Time Job

“I apply to grocery stores and I can’t even get a job there,” says Amanda Koller.

Amanda is profoundly deaf. She’s getting her second master’s degree, and she has applied for more than 1,100 jobs in the past year, National Public Radio reports. She still hasn’t gotten any full-time, permanent job offers.

Fewer than 40 percent of Americans with a hearing disability work full time, according to the Yang-Tan Institute at Cornell University. Deaf job hunters say employers don’t believe they can do the work, despite improvements in technology and accommodations that make it easier for deaf people to work and communicate.

Amanda, who lives outside Washington, D.C., says, “If you can’t hear or speak right, you’re not going to get a job. I don’t think it matters what the company is, or what your background and work experience is.”

She has a master’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Temple University. She’s now working toward a second master’s in health-care quality management from George Washington University.

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