Deaf And Unemployed: 1,000+ Applications But Still No Full-Time Job

Despite technological advancements that allow deaf job seekers to communicate more easily with potential employers, applicants say they still face stigma that they can’t do the job.

Amanda Koller is getting her second master's degree. She has applied for more than 1,100 jobs in the past year. She hasn't gotten any full-time job offers.

She is also profoundly deaf.

The unemployment rate among the deaf is staggering. Fewer than 40 percent of those with a hearing disability work full time, according to the Yang-Tan Institute at Cornell University's analysis of 2016 American Community Survey data. Despite improvements in technology and accommodations that are making it easier for deaf people to work and communicate, deaf job hunters say employers still don't believe they can do the work.

"I apply to grocery stores and I can't even get a job there," said Koller, who lives outside Washington, D.C. "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."