During our studies Anthropology, we have constantly been urged to be conscious of our own position. Who are we, what kind of environment are we in? What kind of experiences or knowledge do we possess, and in what way do our experiences affect our views? And in what way do we affect these environments that we are in, with our own views? When you do research as an anthropologist about a certain culture, and you are trying to understand a culture, you are to understand yourself first. When you understand yourself, and know your weaknesses, know what your opinions and visions are based on, that is when you are able to (partially) understand a different culture or community. It is even so important to be aware of your own prejudices, privileges, and conceptions. But the fact that you are a woman or a man, a white person or a Black person, and deaf or hearing, will always have an influence on how people react to you.
I have a profile on LinkedIn, and from time to time I get approached by recruiters, who sometimes have a pretty interesting offer I’d like to know more about. As it is a profile to show the best of you, positivity is an important factor, and that is the reason I do not write that I am deaf – which unfortunately has the negative connotation that you can not hear. However, I add under Languages the fact that I know several sign languages, with “native or bilingual proficiency”. This is one of the examples I’d like to share with you on what to do to improve your position on the job market as a deaf professional.
Continue reading Job interviews – how to positively communicate your deafness
Translated from Dutch. Original article by Gaston Dorren.
When I told my friends that I had joined a sign language course, there were two kinds of surprising reactions. Firstly, they showed much more interest than when I was learning Danish, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, Romanian or Czech. (No, I don’t speak those languages. And yes, my friends got a lot to digest.) Sign languages seem to entice a lot of curiosity.
Secondly, even though my friend circles consist of a lot of master degree holders, and a doctor, I heard quite a few distressingly misinformed remarks about sign language. Despite so much evangelism in the beginning of the eighties by linguists and sign language advocates, many of the first misconceptions are still around. This is why I have set myself a simple goal: I will summarize seven common, but incorrect assumptions, and will deal with every one of them.