This module covers the major stages of integrating a new employee into your organization, starting with job advertising.

  • Create a clearly defined job description to attract the appropriate pool of applicants.
  • Promote yourself as an accessible and equity focused employer in your job advertising to reach more diverse applicants for your staff and in order to reach a more diverse clientele
  • Sign language interpreters should be present at employment fairs and at company employment days
  • Clearly state in your job advertisement that a sign language interpreter can be made available for interviews as needed
  • To maximize effective outreach in the Deaf community, you can create a video message and use Deaf community e-distribution channels (such as DeafConnect) or place a job advertisement video on your website or through social media. Refer to examples of audition calls for actors (scroll down to audition notice and audition call) on the Deaf Artists and Theatres Toolkit (DATT)
  • Provide email opportunity for queries as well as application submission
  • TTY (teletype or text telephone) for distance phone communication between a hearing individual and a Deaf or hard of hearing individual) is no longer commonly used in the Deaf community. It is sometimes referred to as a TDD (telecommunications device). If you have a TTY, list this number on all pertinent company literature and stationery, including the business cards of key personnel and recruiting staff.
  • If interviews must take place long distance (example: for international applicants), provide opportunity for videoconference interviews with a sign language interpreter, video relay service (VRS) with a remote sign language interpreter or with Communication Access Realtime Translation services (CART).
  • It is important to ensure that your management team supports the hiring of Deaf and hard of hearing employees.
  • Self-disclosure about being Deaf or hard of hearing is the choice of the applicant. Some applicants may choose not to disclose at the pre-selection or interview stage due to negative experiences with disclosure. Accommodations may need to be addressed after the applicant has started work.
Scheduling the Interview
Some applicants will disclose that they are hard of hearing when contacted for an interview, although others choose to self-identify during the actual interview. The applicant is responsible for requesting any accommodation needs. If no accommodation request was made in advance, you are not expected to find an interpreter or captioner. However, the applicant may have some simple requests at the start of the interview that you will be able to accommodate such as to:
  • write down key words
  • eliminate background noise
  • rearrange the seating
  • improve the lighting
  • use the applicant’s personal listening system
When making interview arrangements with an applicant, ask if any accommodation is required for the interview, such as an ASL-English interpreter, captioner or note-taker. Applicants may let you know if a sign language interpreter or a computerized note-taker will be needed. Many Deaf people take the initiative in organizing an interpreter for the first interview. The majority of requested accommodations have no associated costs, i.e. holding the interview in a quiet room. It is, however, the employer’s responsibility to supply the requested accommodation. Contact Canadian Hearing Society Interpreting Services for more information and to book a sign language interpreter for job interviews.   Inform the receptionist you are expecting a candidate who is Deaf or hard of hearing.

Interview: Using an Interpreter
  • The interpreter should be given information regarding the interview content in advance so they are familiar with important terminology and know the interview context
  • The interpreter should be positioned next to the interviewer so the candidate can look easily at both individuals
  • Clarify whether the applicant will speak for him or herself, or whether the interpreter will voice what the applicant signs
  • Make eye contact and address your questions directly to the candidate, not the interpreter
As an example, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) provides Practical Tips for Auditioning Deaf Actors and Guide for Auditioning Deaf Actors: Helpful Links.

Interview Tips
  • A candidate may be worried about the interviewer’s attitudes about Deaf and hard of hearing people. The candidate’s level of residual hearing may ‘drop’ during stressful situations, so extra measures to put the person at ease is helpful
  • When multiple interviewers are involved, allow one person to speak at a time, indicating their intention to do so by raising a hand
  • Only ask questions about the candidate’s hearing loss as it relates to the job
  • For behavioral interview questions, provide an example or scenario when possible
  • Focus on how an applicant’s qualifications match the job’s requirements
  • If applicable, ask the candidate to demonstrate skills on equipment, using the computer, etc
  • The communication style of culturally Deaf individuals tends to be very direct and to the point, in contrast to hearing individuals who are more likely to begin with a general preamble before providing examples to introduce a new idea
  • It may take more time to interview a candidate who is hard of hearing
  • Use positive language