Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Does this Happen in Real Life?

Lindsey gave the heads up on facebook:
Deaf Discrimination: RIT/NTID Students Appear on ABC’s “What Would You Do?” Program
What happened when deaf students recently applying for a job at a coffee shop were met with these comments:

* “We don’t hire deaf people here.”
* “I’m sure you can do lots of things. But this is not the job for you.”
* “The next time you come in here, bring an interpreter.”
* “I think you people would rather work with people of your own kind.”

Did anyone witnessing the discrimination speak up?

That was the experiment students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf conducted with ABC’s “What Would You Do?” program. The show uses hidden cameras to depict actors doing controversial things such as breaking into cars or obviously stealing a bicycle, and records what passersby do – or don’t do – when confronted with an ethical dilemma.

“We’re not out to embarrass anyone,” said host John Quinones. “It’s a lesson learned by the viewers at home, to speak up when they see an injustice.”

The 8-minute segment is scheduled to air this Friday (Feb. 4) at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

Click here to read all about it!!


Anonymous said...


No matter how much we try to deny that there is no discrimination going on, but indeed, it did happen quite a lot.

Deaf people, along with people with disabilities have a very high unemployement rate compared to general population. Employers would find as many excuses to avoid hiring Deaf and disabled people, because they don't know how to accommodate with them.

This show is quite specific about discriminating deaf people when it comes with hiring for a job. Unfortunately, there are so many other places that routinely discriminate Deaf people to get services.

For example, when a Deaf person wants mental health services and got discriminated because the mental health provider does not want to hire an interpreter for an intake appointment or therapy sessions. Then a deaf person decided to file a compliant against the mental health provider, and trying to find a lawyer who would represent the deaf client. The lawyer who specializes in discrimination cases, DOES not want to hire an interpreter. Catch 22!

That happens quite a lot. Believe me, I know.

Amy Cohen Efron

Anonymous said...

Yes. People truly believe the more hearing or speech you have, the better. Some deaf tries to fix this issue with cochlear implant and still get decriminated. Others are told they should improve themselves with cochlear implant and if they dont, they do not have the rights to complain. Some will say they refuse to respect deaf people if they made the decision to stay deaf and not get a cochlear implant. Yep, people like to treat deaf people however they want but we wont let them. Although people do have a difficult time believing us when we tell people they are doing this. I guess they can't imagine as they never been treated this way. What's worst is when people take our side suddenly get very uncomfortable about the whole thing for them for whatever reasons who knows why.

Banjo said...

I recall the time I applied for a job position at a local McDonald's. That was back in 1999 or 2000.

They said that they couldn't hire me due to my deafness. They considered it a health hazard to the working environment.

Understandably, I was upset at first. Then I decided to do nothing about it and moved on. The place ended up closing a few years later.

What goes around comes around.

Dianrez said...

From observation, some hearing people have personal issues that make it difficult for them to deal with d/Deaf people. Not a great many, thank goodness, but enough in positions of power to make it difficult on two levels. Personally, they prefer not to deal, and by association, they influence others to behave likewise.

For example, the human resources director. She may be told by a manager not to hire deaf persons for the assembly line because of the time required to explain things. So she holds back certain applications from that supervisor. In time, she discards all applications from deaf people because it became more expedient.

Our system requires d/Deaf people to be their own advocates, despite having the ADA and other laws prohibiting discrimination. Not many deaf people are willing to take the effort to do this, so discrimination continues to be pervasive. It is also difficult to prove without witnesses and hard evidence.

Happily, problem people are less numerous today and there are more opportunities with non-discriminating people available. They require more work to find, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,
You can bet your bottom tush this happens to a lot of deaf/hh people!
Been long time.....

Divided...aka Sharon

Smile said...


Why do you keep writing "d/Deaf"? It's very confusing!

Anonymous said...

Deaf- culturally deaf. This mean deaf people who married deaf and have deaf children using sign language as their main communication or deaf people people who are very active in the deaf community that uses sign language. Even mild or moderate hearing loss can be considered as Deaf.

The "d"eaf (little d) in more involve in the hearing culture . Most of them don't know sign language and take the medical view of deafness.

CheryLfromMA said...

Smile, i guess h/Hearing is very confusing too

Unknown said...

Hi's been a while and seeing your comments I got a little teary-eyed:-) It's been a long three years and in not too long from now, Jordan will be out there looking for a summer job:-)
I think the main problem is that as Amy said employers do not know how to accommodate a Deaf individual in the work place and it does depend on the working environment. Ignorance leads to fear...which only education can combat. Reminds me of the Karen Putz milkshake episode. But, people are so stubborn, busy etc that if they aren't forced to expand their knowledge and the media doesn't assist them in this endeavor...the situation remains blocked.

There is such a difference between the USA and Italy. In the USA there are always shows, interviews, articles etc that shed light on disability and humanity, in Italy...nothing. Total void. I have this horrible feeling of helplessness, there is an entire culture of support and awareness missing here. I'm tired. Really tired, also because if I consider how much actually needs to be done here to enlighten people here it's so totally overwhelming.

You guys flip around diverse politically correct and incorrect terminology as if it were the order of the day, in Italy they just recently got rid of the term Deaf-Mute to make it a general Deaf.
You have no idea....and so, we try to educate, inform on a local, regional and national level doing the best we can. One person at a time, forty doctors at a time...but in the end, there is still so, so much to do.

I guess the important thing is that we're still around promoting awareness, whichever type of awareness that may be -related to each of our individual perspectives and despite these individual differences...there's always enough discrimination around for everyone to enjoy-:-)

Love to all of you...good reading you,

Anonymous said...

I stopped including any hints that would indicate my deafness. It was just to get my foot in the door or prove I can do the job when applying for jobs.