Hard of hearing/Deaf Readers!

What do YOU do for a living? No, this has nothing to do with Big Brother – I’m just curious, and I’m sure a lot of other hoh/deaf people would be interested in knowing the different careers held by other hoh/deaf. I’ve made it easy for everyone to remain anonymous by temporarily disabling the sign-in requirement. Stay at home moms and dads may participate, too.
Please list:

  • your first name (or initial)
  • job title
  • accommodation(s) provided by your employer

Lurkers – this means YOU, too! Thanks!

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  1. Hoh Said:

    I’ll go first!



    Amplifier for phone, interpreters for large meetings (if I request). Vocational Rehabilitation bought the SmartLink FM System for me.

  2. Jennifer Said:

    I’m Jennifer…homemaker :) I am looking for work, but am waiting to get through my second CI surgery first (Nov. 5th) :)

  3. Deborah Said:

    I am Deborah and I am a dog groomer after 9 years of working in the Library. There are no accomadations.

  4. Kim Said:

    I work in a library but I’m not a librarian! :-) I work in circulation and maintain/troubleshoot computers in my library– software, hardware and all the peripherals on 40+ stations. I also help patrons and co-workers with software questions. It sounds hardcore techie, but it’s really pretty soft. The library system trained me on their software and sent me to a program where I learned how to build/wire the inside of a computer. My accommodations equal phone amplifiers–but I hardly have to use a phone, except answering occasionally. When I have a computer problem, that can be taken care of by email. I am more comfortable in my job than I would be as a librarian I think because I do not have to answer random patron questions usually–or if it’s too tough I can send them to a librarian. Computer questions are essentially visual. No problem! Some of my co-workers have learned a few signs. :-)

  5. Sarah Said:

    I’m Sarah and I also work in a library. I work in technical services as a cataloger with a couple shifts a week at the reference desk. Our telephones have adjustable volume settings which help me alot. I don’t know if that counts as an accomodation because it’s available to everyone.

  6. CHRISTINE Said:


  7. Steve Said:


    Software Engineer

    Currently my employer provides nothing – but that is only because I haven’t asked for anything! I know that a phone amplifier is available if I need it.

  8. Laurie in TN Said:

    Laurie in TN

    Accountant for small credit union (started out as a teller until I got my Finance degree)

    Accomodations: Dual headset for phone. Before my CI’s, my coworkers were happy to take and make phone calls for me. People came to me instead of paging me. As a teller, worked the drive thru window because I could see and read the lips of our members.

  9. kate Said:

    Hello, I’m here for the first time- I’ll have to come back and poke around a bit more. :)

    My name’s Kate, from Boston – I also work in a library (there’s a trend here!). For my job, I don’t really need any accommodations- but could use my FM system if needed.

  10. Sonya Said:



    None now. A phone headset was considered, but none worked that well with my old aids. I got by (mostly) with the built-in handset amplifier. My new aids have t-coils, which are helpful. It remains to be seen if my employer will provide a new computer monitor that doesn’t cause interference with the t-coils.

  11. bookwritegirl Said:


    Library page. No accomodations. My coworkers/bosses are really nice about it; I refer those mumbling patrons to them all the time and they haven’t complained yet! I’ve also spoken with them on getting more accomodations for deaf patrons (we don’t have any visual alert system for warnings; just the understanding that one of us will run around the library to make sure all get to safety) But will use a tty/videophone in the future when I become librarian or get some other “real” job after I graduate, in addition to email/IM.

    Aren’t libraries so nice and quiet for us deaf/hoh people? I used to work in a restaurant…as a waitress(!). And I’m profoundly deaf. No wonder I got stress-related migraines about once a week then…(!) It was my first job, so I was really nieve about accomodations then.

  12. Dennis Allen Said:


    I am a youth pastor at a local church. As you can imagine, I really need to hear the youth. Everyone is very understanding of my issues and I have recently been trying out the Smartlink FM system to help me. I think I like it so far. Since our church is kind of small, I had to purchase on my own.

  13. Abbie Said:


    a. Bookkeeper employed by the lovely county government. They have accommodated me by providing me with a telephone amplifier that doesn’t work for me at the present moment. I am still working on getting my CI up to snuff so I can understand on the phone again.

    b. Computer technician and I am self employed. Since I do this on the side, it is accommodating to me already! :)

    There is quite a trend here, librarians and working for the government!

  14. Kelly Said:

    Special librarian here, director of knowledge and info services for a non profit member association. I have an amplifier on my phone. If I receive a voice message — I try to get enough to call the person back and get them to email. If I am unable to do that, I forward the voice mail to a coworker, who types up the message and emails it to me :)
    Meetings have been tough — small ones I am fine. But when we have large meetings with 20 -30 people I struggle. My coworkers try to help. Thankfully the large meetings are not generally the ones where I need to be active. They are just update meetings, and I get the minutes. I’ve used speech supported sign interpretors for classes and conference workshops.

  15. Melinda Said:

    Homemaker, Habitat For Humanity volunteer, prayer ministry leader, volunteer youth advocate

    Home has highly amp phone, but most people know to contact me by email instead, even the school (emergency ‘call’ home for sick kid), so I check it regularly if at home. Stomping on the floor or hard wall/door knocks are the alternative of choice to yelling for my attention.
    In volunteer work, everyone knows to talk facing me, for lip-reading purposes (and to not talk with food in their mouths).
    My church emails sermons ahead of Sunday for me to read, but also uses ASL and some video captioning in the services.

  16. Wow! I’m a Mom of a one year old little boy, who was born with a hearing impairment! This gives me so much reassurance! (Especially that people are willing to provide you with accomodations!) :)

  17. Kim Said:

    Hello all, from another library Kim!
    My department is Acquisitions; email is wonderful, means so much less puzzling out murky phone messages (phone is HA compatible, with volume controls. I love my telecoils).
    And since the office got renovated, we have beautiful visual alarm systems … even in the bathrooms. There was one interesting day pre-renovation when I was in the toilet and wasn’t sure whether that funny faint sound was an alarm or not (it was)…
    Other library hardofhearies: how many of you grew up hardofhearing and/or devoted bookworms? I found out pretty early that the printed word was a lot more reliable than the spoken one, and still own far too many books!

  18. trkelley Said:


    musician/writer = self-employed, poor :)

    i’m autistic and HOH in an odd way i actually have very painfully acute hearing and perfect pitch but cannot discriminate and sort out or understand speech well at all. So i wear earplugs and muffs a lot to cut out the background roar. i prefer silence. i take beta-blockers to mitigate auditory adrenaline reactions that used to keep me explosively irritable.
    i had speech and hearing therapy in elementary school because everyone thought i was a bit deaf. They missed the autism part til later.
    i have always related well to the D/deaf, as i am a visual thinker, as are many autistics.
    i read a lot. :)

  19. valerie Said:

    Valerie – bilateral CI

    I am a special education teacher in the public school system. I also taught regular education 2nd and 3rd graders. I have been with the school system 14 years.(I am not in a school for the deaf)

    I have an amplier phone. They created a daily bulletin instead of saying everything over the intercom. I really don’t have any accomadations. They just treat me with respect. That is the best accommadation.

  20. Theresa Said:

    Theresa – Engineering Change Management Specialist for a large manufacturing company

    No accomodations. I struggle with meetings (both small and large) and casual office conversation. Even though I am open regarding my hearing impairment with my co-workers, it does not help since there are many people I come into contact on a daily basis. I purchased SMARTLINK FM system but cannot find a suitable use for it at work, so I use it to listen to music and books on tape on my own time.

  21. Lindsey Said:


    I’m Lindsey

    I’m a filmmaker and writer, and most of my work has been working on documentaries for British broadcasters

    People let me move desks so that I’m in the best place to hear everyone. People throw juggling balls at my head to get my attention across a busy office! In the friendliest possible way… :) And a sound man once recommended an adaptor to convert 2 channels of sound from two different sources into just one, so I could hear everything in one headphone (I self-shoot, which can make for messy audio reording when you’re working with 2 microphones recording sounds into 2 separate channels, but you have only one ear to hear them with…)

    Cindy, I’m researching how hoh/deaf people like ourselves appreciate music – would you contact me by email (which I’ve provided) so I could ask you a couple of questions? Many thanks.

  22. charcoalsilhouette Said:

    Uhh, basically, I have hearing aids, use a microphone system, and people feel free to throw things to get my attention. My friends will sometimes steal things from me, just to make me acknowlege them. But yeah, most teachers don’t care and I end up in the back of the room.

  23. susan yetter Said:

    I am unemployed. I lost my job as a public school teacher–elementary & bi-lingual–because of my deafness. I am unilaterally deaf with profound hearing loss in the dead ear. I became deaf after an illness three years ago. Reliable information and services have been very hard to locate. The school and staff resented having to make any accomodations–including the use of the amplification system that was installed when the building was constructed (ADA requirement). I was not treated with respect. I’m in the process of connecting with Vocational rehab. services to find employment.

  24. Kym Said:


    Data Entry Tech

    None :-( but i have a job where i do not use the phone (so i use my relay on my cell phone) and i’m hoping the will install 1711 relay on my computer soon.

  25. Alifer Said:

    Name: Alicia- I wear a single CI, one year old. I can’t wear hearing aids.

    Job: Graphic Designer/Partner with my husband who is a hearing Copywriter.

    We operate a small Design/Writing/Marketing studio out of our home, Blue Sky Creative.

    I have a special phone with amplification, but confess my husband does most on the phone client conversations. I use email almost exclusively for my client interaction, frankly it’s better because I get instructions in writing. They can’t argue they said something they didn’t say!

  26. Liz Said:

    Hi my name is Liz and my title is a Housekeeping Assistant. But I’m only responsible for the cleaning side of it. I wear behind-the ear-hearing aids which I’ve worn since 2002. A year before I started work in a hospital as the above.

    My hearin g has changed in the last 2 years to me, and last year I did ask for a Lipspeaker but did not get one. She accomadated me in other ways which suited me, but I’d imagine next year should I need one for a fire lecture which she won’t be doing herself, will mean I shall want one. Which I bet they won’t provide. (breaking the DDA here). So will probablly end up taking it further. :(

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