Should You Reveal That You Are Deaf in Your Cover Letter or Resume?
Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Writing a cover letter, crafting your resume and participating in interviews can be nerve wracking enough without trying to decide what you should or should not disclose. You may feel apprehension about revealing anything personal about yourself that you may feel could hurt your chances of getting the job. A big part of your interview preparation should be to research the position as well as the organization and develop a set of questions to ask during the interview.
Interviewers typically know the legal questions to ask within the job interview and usually understands that it’s illegal to discriminate against a deaf or hard of hearing candidate simply based upon a disability. However, like any other candidate, you need to show the interviewers that you are the best choice for the position and very capable of doing the job.
So, the big question is should you reveal that you are deaf or hard of hearing in your cover letter or resume? Typically, it’s best to not disclose your hearing loss in your resume or cover letter, but instead, wait until you are selected for a job interview to determine whether you want to share this information. It is likely a good time to disclose your hearing loss to the employer when you need an accommodation for the interview such as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. It will ultimately be up to you whether or not to discuss it at that point, but you should not wait until the interview day to ask for an accommodation. Most accommodations, especially ASL interpreters should be asked in advance because securing an ASL interpreter takes time. It is also a good idea to know your rights within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In closing, each situation should be evaluated carefully whether or not you want to disclose that you are deaf or hard of hearing to your future employers. For instance, many deaf organizations or “deaf-friendly” businesses are actively seeking to hire deaf or hard of hearing individuals and this is when you should leave some clues in your cover letter or resume about your hearing status. Being deaf or hard of hearing alone does not automatically qualify you for the job, but once you’re armed with the knowledge of the position, your skills and rights, you should feel empowered to confidently present your qualifications and why you would be a good candidate.