Northwest Outreach Center

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Roundtable Discussion
for Deaf Employment Specialists
Donna B. Platt, M.S.
Janel L. Stromme, M.Ed.
Training, Assessment and Placement Program (TAPP)
Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center
Seattle, Washington


Deaf employment specialists face more challenges in the job placement field than hearing employment specialists in working with Deaf and hard of hearing clients. Factors that account for this include communication and attitudinal barriers (with both clients and employers), initial employer resistance, and lack of a strong network base and support system.

The roundtable discussion allowed Deaf employment specialists to exchange ideas, concerns, and effective strategies in working effectively with both clients and employers. Discussion centered on six issues divided into two categories, clients and employers.

To better understand the needs of the audience, the workshop presenters gleaned the following audience demographics:

The client profiles focused on during this discussion were traditionally underserved special populations. These include:

Workshop participants were asked to provide ideas, strategies and suggestions on the following topics:

A) Clients

Topic: Strategies and solutions in developing effective job access for clients whose minimal work skills, education and work experiences are not up to job market standards.

Topic: How SSI, SSDI and welfare benefits affect Deaf people and their attitudes toward gainful employment and ways to educate clients on changing their attitudes. Topic: Strategies & techniques for empowering clients in the job seeking process, including advocating for their rights to gainful employment under the ADA. B) Employers

Topic: Communication issues (utilizing TTY and relay services, arranging for and utilizing interpreters for events such as meetings, job tours, job interviews and on-the-job training)

Topic: Dealing with attitudinal barriers/initial employer resistance Topics: How to effectively "sell" the employer on hiring Deaf, Deaf-Blind or hard of hearing clients CONCLUSION

The presenters and workshop participants closed this roundtable discussion with a brief exchange of ideas on how to establish an ongoing support network using the technology available today.

Workshop participants were asked if they were interested in establishing an ongoing support network via email or snail mail. Participants were asked to sign-up on the contact list. The workshop presenters will develop a network list from the sign-up sheet to be made available to interested participants.

 Direct suggestions, comments, and questions about this page to:
Cheryl D. Davis, Ph.D., Coordinator
Northwest Outreach Center
Regional Resource Center on Deafness
Western Oregon University
Monmouth OR 97361
503-838-8642 (v/tty)
503-838-8228 (fax)
WOU Wolf Mascot
Last modified 20AUG1999