School and career choices for young people with hearing impairment
During this time of the year, schools and other educational
institutions are usually stressed out because of examinations or exams.
The questions “Which education do I choose?” or “Which profession suits me?” have either already been clarified or will be clarified in the foreseeable future.
This is an exciting and decisive time for all young people, during
which they can take their first steps on the professional path
individually and (hopefully) in free choice.
For many hearing impaired young people, when choosing a school or a job, there is usually a further crucial question: “what education or work can I do with my hearing impairment?”
Although this choice of profession or training lies a long time
behind me, I knew at that time exactly what I wanted to do, namely to
study history. I certainly did not want to become a teacher, but I had a
diplomatic career in mind. That the diplomatic career didn’t work out
and my life took a different course, I couldn’t guess at that time and
that’s another story :-). And this story has nothing to do with my
Fact is that I had made my choice before my hearing loss occurred and my hearing impairment has never stopped me from my education and career choice.
I was even quite shocked when I was advised not to volunteer at the shelter about 13 years ago. I wanted to take dogs for a walk, but the dogs could get aggressive and I might not hear this. Even with cats I might not hear the hissing … But since I had cats myself, I could at least refute this argument in no time.
In schools and educational institutions young people used to be told
quite often: “forget it, you can’t do that with your hearing
impairment”. One had the choice to accept it or to fight it.
Fortunately, today’s generation of hearing impaired people is much better educated and has more opportunities in the labour market. But that does not mean that there are no obstacles at all …
Sure, some professions demand a lot from a hearing impaired person,
but in my opinion this is no reason to avoid these professions. I know
enough hearing-impaired people who, for example, work in professions
that require a lot of communication.
This requires above all a measure of self-confidence and self-knowledge. Self-confidence to assert oneself and reach ones goal. Self-knowledge to know what you need for your communication and to be able to communicate that to the outside world.
For this reason, for the young hearing impaired person, the important
professional questions should not only be: “what do I want and what can
I do” but also “what do I need to realize my education/profession”.
Readers who have been following me for some time now know that I emphasize independence and self-confidence for people with hearing impairment.
The better I get to know myself, the better I know what kind of communication I need for myself and can share this to others.
At this point, I would like to encourage all oncoming students, trainees, employees – and all others – to ask themselves not “WHAT can I do?” but “HOW can I do it?”, and wish you all a good start in your professional life.