Who Has A Better Job Opportunity – Deaf or Hearing?

Jason Curry, CEO After several years of working with different UbiDuo customers who are deaf and hearing, one thing that keeps sticking out is who had a better job opportunity in the work environment, the hearing or deaf employee that has the same factors in their environment.
Who has a better job opportunity, the hearing employee or deaf employee, given the same factors in the environment? Before I answer the question, let’s break down several factors in the work environment of hearing employee Bob and deaf employee Chris. Both have the same: Both have the same supervisor Both have the same job title Both have the same job responsibilities Both have the same salary Both have the same hearing co-workers Both have the same cubicle set up Their cubicles are right next to each other. Both Bob and Chris start their workday at 8 a.m. They begin the day with a similar workload. At 8:35, a hearing co-worker, Lisa, walks into Bob’s cubicle, sits in a chair, and asks Bob several questions about an audit report. Bob and Lisa carry on a face-to-face conversation for about 17 minutes, exchanging information without any conscious effort. After the 17-minute conversation, Lisa gets up, walks out of the cubicle, and returns to her office to get back to what she was doing. On the way back to her cubicle, Lisa does not stop by Chris’s cubicle at all. Bob is able to complete that audit report from the information he exchanged with Lisa. At 10:12, Bob’s supervisor, Rick, comes by and asks Bob, “Can you come to my office for 10 minutes?” Of course, Bob gets up and follows Rick to his office. The two then, comfortably and without stress or anxiety, sit down to review a customer complaint and discuss what action to take to resolve the issue. That face-to-face conversation takes 11 minutes. Bob and Rick were able to exchange verbal information. Around 11:30, another co-worker, Jeff, asks Bob to join him for lunch. The two of them leave at noon and have a face-to-face conversation over lunch. During that 1 hour sit-down, lunch conversation, Jeff tipped Bob off about a job opportunity to move up the ladder within the organization. Bob returns to work, fully aware and very excited about the job opportunity he learned about from Jeff. For the rest of the afternoon, Bob has 4 more face-to-face encounters with different co-workers on different work issues. If Bob gets that same cycle of unlimited face-to-face encounters on a daily basis with different co-workers, you can see how he will build relationships with each one of them. He will get to know each co-worker on a deeper level; and, the most beneficial thing, he is made aware of and able to seek better job opportunities within the organization. Let’s now look back at Chris (the deaf employee’s) day. Not even one co-worker went into his cubicle to discuss any work issues with him. He gets zero face-to-face interaction as all of his co-workers send him emails to ask about work. His supervisor, Rick, emails him to check in on how he is doing with his work. Chris responds, via email, “I am doing fine.” Chris is totally isolated in his cubicle all day. The only way he is able to exchange information with his co-workers and supervisors is via email. He has no clue who each co-worker is on a more personal level. He doesn’t know about their interests or hobbies, let alone what each co-worker does in their respective jobs. Every morning Chris walks into the office and says ‘Hello” to everyone. Then, he heads directly to his cubicle to start working, sending emails to his necessary contacts. Not even one hearing co-worker asks him to lunch. All day, he is totally alone in his cubicle. Meanwhile, face-to-face interactions are going on behind him between his hearing co-workers and supervisors. Chris has a constant feeling of uncertainty of what’s going on outside his cubicle, in the office, and what everyone is talking about. The lack of everyday face-to-face communication causes him stress and anxiety. When the day is over, Chris anxiously shuts down his computer, says good-bye to everyone, and then leaves to go home. As he walks out the door, feeling a huge sigh of relief leaving that uncertain job environment. Driving home, he tells himself how horrible the hearing co-workers and supervisors are to him because they are not communicating with him. What he doesn’t understand is that they just don’t have a tool to communicate with him face-to-face every day. If Chris expects to have an interpreter all the time, it will cause tension and resistance for his co-workers and supervisors. Chris is not making any effort to use a different tool, besides the interpreter, to help his co-workers interact with them every day. He can transform his environment easily with the UbiDuo. By placing the UbiDuo on his desk with a second chair for visitors, Chris can have unlimited face-to-face interactions with his hearing co-workers and supervisors, and finish work at the same pace as Bob. Think about it hard and long. If Bob gets unlimited face-to-face encounters with his co-workers and supervisors, he is able to build relationships with them and perform at optimum levels as he has a full understanding of what is required in the job. On the other hand, if Chris cannot get unlimited face-to-face encounters with his co-workers and supervisors, he is not able to realize the full benefit of building relationships with them. He is also limited in his job performance as the lack of direct, face-to-face communication prevents him from having a full understanding of what is required in his job. In turn, Chris’ co-workers and supervisors become aware of his communication limitations. Once that happens, they begin to condition Chris’ job by giving him work to do that does not require daily face-to-face interaction. The key to optimum performance and complete understanding of the job requirements is 100% face-to-face communication with everyone in the workplace. Chris cannot compete with the other co-workers if he only depends on an interpreter 2 to 3 times a month. Any agency, company, or organization expects their employees to contribute by providing unlimited face-to-face interaction on the job from 8 to 5, 5 days a week, for the entire month – without interruption in communication. Now, back to Bob and Chris. Bob probably has, on average, 140 face-to-face encounters with his peers and managers every month. Compare that with Chris who is deaf and totally dependent on an interpreter showing up maybe only once or twice during the month. The rest of the month, Chris has no ongoing face-to-face interaction with his hearing co-workers and supervisors. Who do you think has a better job opportunity – Bob, the hearing employee, or Chris, the deaf employee? You decide. – See more at: https://www.scomm.com/news/who-has-better-job-opportunity-deaf-or-hearing#sthash.OoIlKbC7.dpuf
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