Saturday

...Hard of Hearing Sitter...

Received Saturday, June 30, 2007
I am an nanny for 2+ years for one family but I only sit for them 2 times a week, which is nice but I'd like to ask a question...

Before I got the job with them I went on different interviews. I was well liked and wanted by the children. I am very creative person (pursuing an architecture degree)but once they find out that I have an slight hearing loss that prevents me from communicating on the phone. They don't hire me in fear that something awful would happen. I provide myself an pda phones with text messages and all the accessory if they like to contact me. This recently happened: I was interviewing for weekend jobs and My resume was so good and I was called back 2 times. Then I find I lost the job to an 18 year old who just decided she wanted to be a nanny. My question is, despite my hearing loss, and the fact that I talk like an hearing person, why is it such a hard time finding families who cant let go of the fact of hearing loss.Am I being interview by the wrong people? or where else should I look, I have been doing this since I was 11 starting as a mothers helper and then worked my way up to weekend jobs etc. I'd like to find a good family. 2 week days and weekends, or whatever they prefer. Any input or ideas why hearing families doesn't want a hard of hearing sitter? I'm open to all ideas.

Perspective & Opinion

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel for you but I have to side with parents here. We live in an area where cell service is very spotty. Communicating on the phone is mandatory. Besides, in an emergency (remember 9/11 when all cell service went crazy) you have to be able to use the land line phone.
I had a neighbor who employed someone with a hearing loss and she didn't hear the doorbell. God forbid the child fell in another room--would the nanny hear her? Or someone trying to break in?

Anonymous said...

6:24
I disagree. That is like saying a little person couldn't do the job becausae they need help reaching things and assistance in getting around and carrying things/children. Little people, deaf people, blind people disabled people all raise children and care for them.
If a nanny who had a hearing loss (and she said it was slight!) who was wonderful in all respects interviewed with me, I would hire her. I would just make sure that my house were equipped with all things that were needed. Children should not be unsupervised anyway in an unsafe room: and children fall all the time. Are you a nanny and feel the need to be in another room away from the kids for longer than the minute it takes to go to the bathroom? If so, you suck as a nanny. And if they are sleeping,you should be checking on them periodically.
I say to the nanny in this post: people are unbelievable and disappointing, so prejudiced against people with diabilities and unwilling to accommodate them. But not all of us are so stupid. So keep trying. You will find the right family.
God Bless!

jmt said...

Perhaps you could advertise your services on hard-of-hearing chatboards/support groups. If you work for a family that has hearing issues they might already be set up like you are with pda and blackberry, etc. I wouldn't stop looking in the mainstream market yet so you don't limit your pool of employers.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought as JMT. Are you able to communicate with sign language? A family who has someone with hearing problems could find you to be a great resource at teaching their children to communcate with sign language.

Anonymous said...

10:12
Yes, disabled people have children and care for them. That does not mean you would hire a blind person to be your nanny!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say this and I am not saying this to be snarky or mean, but since you have a hearing defecit, I think your communication skills need to be superb. And your writing is disorganized and not at all easy to comprehend. I don't know how you come off in an interview, but communication issues are no good. So if you are lacking in one area, you might want to turn it up a notch in other areas. IMO.
And good luck.

Anonymous said...

1:11
I may: you never know! How would you know what I would or would not do? You do not know me!
My dad has a retail business and he hires people with disabilities when he can. One kid who is MR is the best worker ever, and he has been working for my Dad since he was 15.
You may descriminate against the blind, or others but not everybody does. If they can function with their disability, why not hire them?

Anonymous said...

1:46
I rest my case. If you would hire a blind person to be your nanny--you just told me everything I need to know about you! I think you are striving way too far to make your point as no one in their right mind would hire a blind person to nanny! I am not saying disabled people are not worthy of other jobs, but the average parent would be seeking a nanny candidate without a deficit that could be a potential hazard when caring for a vulnerable child.

OP--perhaps you are underestimating your level of impairment? If you are unable to use a regular telephone, then perhaps you are more hearing impaired than you are willing to admit?
Good luck in your search...

Anonymous said...

May I break in here and just say ... I am deaf. But I make up for the lack of communication in other ways - such as, reading lips. Most hearing people don't know sign language, and my ability to read lips allows me to communicate with them very easily. My speech is so slightly affected because I lost my hearing much later after learning how to talk, that most people don't even know.
jmt made a perfect suggestion ... advertise yourself with families that are like yourself. If you know sign language, even better. I think it's all about just changing the direction your in ... imagine how many deaf/hard of hearing families need Nannies? I think you will find alot more success because there is an infinitely large deaf community, and you would definately be considered a hot commodity! Good luck and let us know what happens.

Anonymous said...

1:42
You may be trying to be well-intentioned, but it's not coming off that way. Her writing skills aren't that bad, and I'm sure the letter was written without her thinking she was going to be graded! Might I add that most people that have some kind of deficit make up for it two-fold in other ways. Such as a person who cannot see ... their sense of smell tends to be extremely heightened and sensitive. So don't go throwing the OP to the dogs yet ... I'm sure she is a very intelligent individual, and whatever she lacks in hearing I'm sure she makes up for it in other ways.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I am the person who wrote this. I think I need to clarify some things, just because I have a slight hearing loss doesn't mean I am 100% deaf.

I talk and communicate with hearing people far more than with the deaf community, I'd like to stick with the fact that I rather have no ties to the deaf community.

I have been mainstreamed in regular schools and currently finishing my architecture degree at University of IL at Chicago (which is one of the hardest programs to get into).

I talk as if you did not know that I have a hearing loss since it is a hidden disability so I'd say I have achieved so much.

But my wondering is, I am with the kids all the time(except if I have to make them lunch or dinner) I teach them basic sign language (with permission of the parents of course). I love what I do but I find it very discriminative that people don't want to make an effort, when I am giving them 100% of my time to let them better off understanding my hearing loss.

hope that helps. What else is it that I need to show? *besides my writing*

Anonymous said...

Hi OP (4:15) - 2:12 here
Your writing is fine. I know you are intelligent, just as 1:42 decided from your grammer that you weren't, I can tell from your post that you are. So, forget that part.
Now that we know alittle more about you ... If you are saying that your only downfall is talking on the telephone ... but that you can hear your charges, the doorbell ringing, a car horn, a smoke alarm (you get where I'm going?) - ALL of the pertinent sounds you need to hear ... then I say don't mention your disability. If none of the above hinders your ability to keep your kids safe, then what's the point? Keep it to yourself. I know this doesn't really solve your problem ... I'm sure you would feel more comfortable with your Employer knowing the truth, but your always going to come across some cad that's going to believe that you are subpar as a Nanny ... and you know that your not. Maybe after you get hired and prove yourself, you could just "mention" your "slight" hearing loss as a side note. By then, they will know how great you are, and wouldn't dare to think of letting you go!

ble said...

I am a little confused about the level of your hearing loss. My ex-husband was functionally deaf and he could use the phone. He also read lips and spoke with the tone of a deaf person, but using the one ear he had minimal hearing in, he was able to use the phone. He had to be in a quiet place and occasionally ask the other party to speak up, but he did it all the time.

Maybe your hearing loss is a different type, but I am just confused as to how a "slight hering loss" prevents your ability to use a telephone.

I do; however, agree with those who have expressed that you should market yourself towards families with hearing impared children, etc., if finding work is difficult do to your hearing loss.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say, when you start to lose your hearing - the ability to use the phone becomes the most difficult thing to do, I don't know - it just is. Maybe the way the accoustics are?? Anyway - simple things like that are the first to go. It sucks.
~ signed,
"can you hear me now?"

Anonymous said...

I can't agree with 7:51 that failing to mention the disability is a good thing. Beginning a relationship with your employer based on deception seems like such a bad idea, and it's true that telephone communication is important. With a bad surprise like that the first time Mom calls home during the day, she will begin to wonder what else was conveniently left out in the interview.

Best of luck to the OP; eventually you will find a caring, non-discriminating family who will appreciate and accommodate you!

Anonymous said...

OP has a telephone ... and she can text, also. Mom will be able to communicate just fine.

Anonymous said...

Leaving details out = bad idea and a good way to make you look like a liar later on. Don't ever leave important stuff out in interviews, it will bite you in the butt later. Honesty is key, you may lose some jobs to prejudice bosses, but in the end you'll find a person who values you and is worth working for! Rather than walking on egg shells hoping the home telephone doesn't ever ring while you are at work, be honest! You can shine a positive light on it, and explain that it doesn't hinder you, but don't completely leave it out. Something like this could get tricky to cover up, please don't lie it could cost you your job later on (not good on a resume!)

Anonymous said...

totally for the OP here: it's horrible that people discriminate so much.

Anonymous said...

Using your own phone is not a big deal. My last position I worked in a home without an answering machine and with a foreign housekeeper who couldn't take a message for squat. I gave out my cell for everything, dry cleaning, reservations, maintanence people, school, friends, whatever. It was easier that way

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a nanny with a hearing loss. I have never had an issue with parents because I do not make an issue of it. I wear hearing aids, but I have long hair, so they are usually covered up. It DOES NOT affect my ability to do my job, therefore, I do not think that it should be an issue. Usually, it's a couple of weeks or even months before the parents realize that I even have a problem.

I do feel that this nanny was discriminated against. Simply because she has a slight hearing loss does not mean that she will not be able to effectively do her job. I think that the general public is just uneducated about what hearing loss really is and how easy it is to work around it.

8:12- There are many different types of hearing loss, this person's loss may just be of a certain frequency, which is why she can hear voices, etc., but not the phone. My hearing loss is due to scar tissue, therefore, my auditory nerve is completly intact, which is a fairly uncommon hearing loss. But, like I said, there are many different types.

Anonymous said...

1:58 My sister has chosen our (blind) mother to care for her 2-year-old son since his birth. He is more advanced and able to communicate than many of the 3-year-old students I teach in preschool, largely due to her. I was raised by two blind parents and have shown no ill effects, as well. With good references as to a person's capabilities, I don't think that disabilities should disqualify anyone from a nanny job. Exposing children to diversity early is hardly a downfall!

Anonymous said...

4:43
The question is not whether you can have blind parents successfully caring for their child. The question is can a blind nanny(a non-family member)interview for a nanny position and get it? I am sure your mother would have a hard time marketing her skills as a nanny despite her success raising your child.

Anonymous said...

I'd hire her, I'm a mom of 5 kids and hearing impaired. I have significant hearing loss in my left ear (childhood ear infections can cause hearing loss). I'd hire her in a heartbeat if her resume impressed me!

Lorenza said...

Oh please people,
I am a grandmother and like many other baby boomers, I am losing my hearing, but that doesn't mean I am incapable of taking care of my grandchildren! I don't think the situation is going to get any better and I'm not inclined to start wearing hearing aids yet, but there is no doubt that I'm still up to the task of taking care of the "little angels"! Heh!

Anonymous said...

I am hearing impaired and have worked as a governess now for 10 years AND an overnight baby nurse. I have never had a problem being hired even though I don't use the phone for communication and relay on text messaging and email (which my employers pay for). All my employers have considered my hearing impairment an ASSET, and it has never posed a problem in any way.

Besides, if someone thinks that a person with a hearing impairment can't care for children, then they are essentially saying that all people with disabilities shouldn't be allowed to have their own kids!

Anonymous said...

Don't give up, you'll find the right family! You've probably got the best hawk eyes around ;~)

Anonymous said...

I am actually looking for a deaf nanny for my deaf daughter! The first places I am looking in are organizations and foundations for the deaf in my area... If I were you I would post your name and number there and I am sure you will find someone soon...

Anonymous said...

I know this post is old but I'd like to comment for future readers. We have a profoundly deaf 18 year old that cares for our hearing 17 month old twins. We added a couple of adaptive devices in our house for her & she can text 911. She communicates in ASL. The twins are becoming fluent in ASL & English. She is more trustworthy than some older adults. Do a trial run with perspective families and show them what you can do. Build your resume that way.

Anonymous said...

Our hearing-impaired nanny is wonderful in other ways, but she has missed many things such as leaving the sink disposal running, not hearing people ringing the doorbell, missing my phone calls, constantly misunderstanding or not hearing my toddler's and preschooler's speech (they speak very well for their ages), and worst of all, a crying (injured) child in another room. All of these have happened while I was in the house. Who knows what else has happened, or might happen? Despite her many good qualities, I'm looking for a new nanny.