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Should I Disclose That I'm Hard of Hearing on My Resume?

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Should I disclose that I’m hard of hearing on my resume?

It’s not exactly a question that you could input into a Google search and get a definitive answer. I am a senior at my university, and this is my last semester before I graduate. The pressure of searching for both internships and jobs is heating up.

I check my LinkedIn feed like it’s Instagram (and I check my Instagram a lot). Scouring for remote internships is like finding hidden treasure on an island, and applying to them leaves me with a cocktail of emotions in my stomach ranging from nervousness to excitement.

However, one little thing continues to bug me as I click away and send off my resume into cyberspace.

Should I mention that I’m hard of hearing on my resume?

According to the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC), “Only 53.3% of deaf people ages 25-64 were employed in 2017, compared to 75.8% of hearing people – an employment gap of 22.5%.” Later, the NDC says that “a whopping 42.9% of deaf people have opted out of the labor force, more than double the rate of hearing people (20.8%).”

These facts are not only startling but disheartening. And every once in a while, I wonder: Will my future employers accommodate me? Will they choose not to hire me because of my disability? I have a lot to offer future employers, but still, will I be discriminated against just because I cannot hear?

I’d like to believe that what I lack in hearing, I make up for in my other talents. For instance, I love to write. Correction, I love to write so much I will write just about anything from blog posts, to book reviews, to stories, to emails. I have a minor in journalism, and over these past years, I’ve learned how to be fair and unbiased in my writing. However, if there’s something I like to write about the most, it’s people.

I love writing about people and using their quotes because ultimately, those stories are real. They are real and raw and honest, and even though I am the one writing it all down, really, they are the ones telling the story themselves.

I want to share all the stories I find with the rest of the world. Everyone has a story that’s waiting to be told, and my hearing loss is a strong contributor to why I believe this. Wondering if sharing these stories would be harder to do because no one would want to hire me because of my hearing loss just seems silly.

The truth is, people with disabilities offer unique perspectives and contributions to the workplace. Sadly, in our able-bodied society, it can be difficult for people to slow down and see that.

So, I ask the question again. Should I mention that I am hard of hearing on my resume?

Yes, I want to say that about myself right off the bat. After all, my hearing loss is a part of my own story, but it is not who I am.

I am a student. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am a service dog handler. I am a sign language tutor. I am a writer.

And I want people to see all those things about me first.

Getty image by Humonia.

Originally published: February 14, 2021
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