Employment Success Story
Jane, (name changed to protect privacy) was unemployed, and had been looking for work for about two years. She was finding it challenging to find work due to her hearing loss and the COVID-19-related economic turndown. In her job search, Jane also faced agism and discrimination; Jane has a foreign accent and found people would evaluate her based on common stereotypes, despite her being a Canadian citizen. She didn’t have access to the internet or a mobile device due to increasing cost of living. While she was always financially prudent, she found herself subject to mandatory condo remediations, and needed to come out of retirement to find work.
“I remember driving clients (in my former job) to Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre when their office used to be located near Oak Bay. I thought to contact them to see if they could help me find employment, ” explains Jane. Jane began working with her case manager at IDHHC in the spring of 2021. “They helped me re-develop my resume and provided courses and information about how to interview and present myself in the best light. Most of all, they listened to me and learned about my situation. I developed more confidence, and secured myself a job in a role I love on my 70th birthday.”
Jane now works part time just down the street from her home, in a small shop where she can use her passion for providing attentive customer service. It suits her needs and she can use her skills. “Nowadays, I get paid to exercise and socialize with a purpose, while I give all of that service to my customers,” Jane explains, “My work keeps my mind sharp, which is important to me. I had some real barriers when I was trying to look for a job on my own. Now I have a purpose again, and a way to continue to financially secure my future.”
Once working, Jane realized it was still challenging to understand customers at work with her aging hearing aids. She was able to get new hearing aids through IDHHC and WorkBC Assistive Technology Services that allow her to keep doing the job she loves. Jane just celebrated her one-year anniversary of reaching out to IDHHC for services, and has been back to work now for more than 9 months. She hopes sharing her story can encourage others to reach out and secure their future, too.
IDHHC has a variety of programs and services specific to support Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals and families in our community and we welcome you to check the links below or connect with us for additional service inquiries.