In the 21st Century, deaf people with all kinds of disabilities continue to struggle with hardships to gain and be on equal basis to get all kinds of opportunities for a decent career job. US is well equipped with all kinds of resources to provide via career center in all universities for internships/career jobs in all kinds of fields for all citizens/non-citizens with green card/special work visa no matter the race, religions, sex, culture, disability and age. There are universities to be well equipped to offer all that for deaf people with all kinds of disabilities with total access to American Sign Language interpretation/accommodation setting. Even though the whole country is offered to them the necessary resources for employment opportunities via the Vocational Rehabilitation Centers for people with disabilities. Of course, there are many minuses and pluses we all are facing in this reality even though with the disability rights law proscribed in the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). These minuses and pluses apply as well as for my experiences with the struggle in gaining a prospect with career job position at any NGOs, government agencies, companies and Inter-governmental Organizations- IGOs. Even though these mentioned two acts do not ideally support in promoting and in safeguarding the equality for all between disabled and non-disabled persons with the recognition to have inclusion with true respect. Fighting for this cause along with the ADA/ADAAA, we as part of the deaf community with all kinds of disabilities need to voice with ideas, advocacy strategies, solutions with policy analysis in how we can achieve that total goal as it is being done to show tremendous success with the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD) on the international level.
The loophole of ADA/ADAAA for my personal experiences in seeking employment opportunities made an impact toward my disability which is deafness. Throughout my years after completing my Bachelors and completing in attending the studies for my Masters, I only had a good success in gaining internship opportunities. In reality, internships are more related with learning to gain new skills and build experiences without earning any meaningful financial support for living style. The toughest part for the deaf people with all various disabilities in fact are facing the challenges to compete well in financially to survive and in proving their essential abilities/skills no matter the differences of disabled/non-disabled at the workforce with total success. With internship/voluntary experiences are total plus for the resume to demonstrate even for the cover letter, however an obstacle is presented when it comes for an interview. Many employers often would not know whether the interviewee is disabled or non-disabled to the fact that candidates often do not disclose it due to the fear of getting rejected for an interview. The protection clause for discrimination law as stated in ADA/ADAAA in fact support to promote in preventing all forms of discrimination against people with disabilities including the requirement to provide access to the interpreting services/accommodations. Companies, NGOs, IGOs and governmental agencies although know the mentioned provision for anti-discrimination laws and reasonable accommodations in the ADA/ADAAA do exist however many ignored to respect it in a valuable way. About half of the deaf people including with their disabilities attend the interviews with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters while the rest attend it without being presented with access to ASL interpreting services. Some also have received rejections for not being able to get the reasonable accommodation with the ASL interpretation for a job interview due to insufficient financial support that companies, NGOs, IGOs and governmental agencies were not able to secure or provide for. Most of the times on daily basis I go in searching for job positions that interest me to meeting my true qualifications and by applying with my resume/cover letters, I have received several interviews. The span in searching and receiving interviews plus getting at last a career job took me within 5-7 years. The rejections to receive within these years were a blow toward me. In taking for so long to get the employment opportunity in my life, the ADA/ADAAA with a lawsuit would not in most cases help me to recognize that loss of time. The point is that there are no possibilities to know and to proving with evidence including via witnesses that these companies, NGOs, IGOs and governmental agencies did make discriminatory behaviors in hiring process based on their decision in regard of people’s various disabilities. There are almost no employment cases made with a success for any NGOs, companies, governmental agencies and IGOs do admit officially the discrimination matters due to a reason that many will make up various reasons to explain their hiring decisions.
Yes, we do feel powerless when the struggles and obstacles occurs in our everyday lives. However, we have a powerful voice in which is to bring deep awareness about disability rights related to inclusion, equality and diversity. At all cost can and must demonstrate via social media and transnational activism with the abilities all deaf people to be included with various disabilities in which makes a total contribution with a big plus to the society and have a true benefit for economic profit. The suggestion I have is that the companies such as NGOs, governmental agencies and IGOs shall work together through education with training to learn, to accept, and to understand better with various abilities of people with disabilities while they apply all kinds of job positions in different fields, and via congressional level including via social media and transnational activism to demonstrate in improving the employment law for all people with disabilities. This is to include in having a total equality, inclusion and diversity at the workforce. Lastly, to conclude is to provide a law with total compliance for all workforce in all places that people with disabilities shall and must be included to work in a total diversity with the non-disabled no matter what.