Bias against deaf people

4th September 1998 at 01:00
I am encouraged by the sheer determination shown by Linette O'Connor (Falling on Deaf Ears, TES, August 14) in trying to secure employment as a teacher. Sadly the type of blatant discrimination she is encountering is an all too common problem.

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People recently conducted research into employment among deaf and hard of hearing people. It found that a deaf person is less likely to be employed than someone with a criminal record or a history of drug abuse.

Deaf and hard of hearing people have a right to employment that reflects their education and training. Part of the problem lies with employers' lack of understanding and that is why the RNID is setting up a service to help people like Linette secure suitable employment.

The new Disability Rights Commission is also a welcome development, as it will promote good practice among employers and help dispel outdated attitudes towards disabled people.

Joe Saxton. Director of Communications. Royal National Institute for Deaf People

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