Candidate rejection | Deaf jobseeker asks employers to 'give her a chance' after 1,000 job rejections

Deaf jobseeker asks employers to 'give her a chance' after 1,000 job rejections

A deaf jobseeker is beckoning employers to give her a chance after being rejected from more than 1,000 jobs over an 18-month period - reports.

Thirty-two-year-old IT worker, Kellie Wilson - who believes that her struggle to secure employment is directly correlated with her hearing impairment - is now considering undergoing a chancy operation, with varying success, to heighten her chances in the employment world.

Regardless of her past job-hunting struggles, Wilson expresses a high-level of confidence when it comes to completing the administrative-type roles that she has applied for previously.

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For this reason, Wilson said that she is just asking for employers to give her a chance and “treat [her] like other people”.

She added: “The only thing I cannot do is hear. My mind is sharp and I can lip read really well.

“I am currently being assessed for a cochlea implant in the hopes of improving my situation. I feel as though I have to change who I am in the face of ignorance."

“I am contacted by companies saying they are happy with my CV and can I call them to chat or for a phone interview.

“I explain why I cannot and offer to chat via email or Skype or text relay and either don’t hear back or am told that they do not have the facilities to chat in my suggested methods.

“In interviews, if I struggle to understand what’s being said, I explain my disability. Then I get the reply ‘there’s a lot of phone work in this role’ or ‘we don’t think this role is the right fit for you”.

Discrimination in the recruitment process

According to, hearing impairments - whether they are mild, moderate, severe or profound to the point of total deafness - are classified as a disability under the ADA.

Additionally, The Disability Discrimination Act explains that a person is deemed disabled if “they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantially adverse and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

Information listed on says that disability discrimination occurs when individuals are at a disadvantage because of their disability. sets out the legalities of supporting and catering for jobseekers with disabilities in the recruitment process.

The site states that employers should make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help disabled employees with their job applications.

This includes providing application forms in Braille or audio formats, aptitude tests that allow extra time to be given for individuals to complete the assessments.

It also explains that employers should make appropriate interview arrangements, such as providing communicator support or providing wheelchair access to disabled candidates.

However, as Wilson explained, this is not the response that she received when she told hiring managers that she was unable to participate in a telephone interview because of her hearing impairment.

Unfortunately Wilson is not the only jobseeker to have experienced difficulties when securing work. And it seems that the job struggles are not solely exclusive to individuals living with a disability.

Last year, Recruitment Grapevine reported on jobseeker Sean Casey who gave up his job in Chelmsford to relocate and move in with his partner. But ever since, he has struggled to secure work and has been hounded by more than 200 job rejections.

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He told the Hull Daily Mail that when he relocated, he never thought the search to find work would be so complex.

“I’ve applied all over and from 200 applications I’ve only had four interviews in six months," he said. "Out of those I’ve not [heard] back from any of them – not even an email to say I was unsuccessful.

“At the beginning I was a bit pickier but now I’m just literally applying for anything that is available. I’ve tried supermarket, care homes, offices and even cleaning jobs."

Comments (3)

  •  David Crook
    David Crook
    Mon, 11 Feb 2019 3:09pm GMT
    I once worked with a deaf lady that was made redundant and was struggling to get a new role despite being very talented in her particular field. She explained that a number of agencies had fobbed her off simply because she would have entailed a lot of work for the agent concerned convincing their client to look at her. After a lot of work I was able to get her a contract role which has now turned into a permanent position which she really enjoys. Not only do I have a happy and grateful candidate (the bottle of wine by way of thank you tasted delicious!) but also a well satisfied client - not to mention that warm, fuzzy feeling of making a positive difference to someone's life.

    In this day and age technology can be a real help so why not use it?
  • LinkedIn profile?
    LinkedIn profile?
    Mon, 11 Feb 2019 1:35pm GMT
    Shame the article doesn't to Kellie's LinkedIn profile, so readers could share and help.
  • gbjobro
    Mon, 11 Feb 2019 1:30pm GMT
    I had an internal recruitment role where I dealt with agency suppliers and one of my internal hiring managers was deaf. The amount of agencies who insisted that they needed to speak with him on the phone AFTER I had explained that he was hearing impaired was astonishing. No matter how may times I repeated that he cannot speak with you on the phone, HE IS DEAF, and offered them his email address instead, it just didn't sink in! If nothing else it allowed me to rule out the profoundly stupid suppliers. Thankfully, the company were very supportive and never ruled anyone out for a disability.

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