DEAF Careers 365 is an employment website being created by Belgium Campus iTversity Deaf internship students Thabo Mthimkulu, Nduduzo Miya and Mbuyiselo Ncayiyana. The website, similar to Disability Career 365, is being designed specifically for members of the Deaf community seeking employment and companies looking to hire Deaf employees.
“Initially we were going to create a job website for the general disabled community but because most of our experience lies within the Deaf community and most of our contacts are also within the Deaf community, we decided to create DEAF Careers 365 instead,” Mthimkulu shares.
There are more than 4 million Deaf and hard-of-hearing people living in South Africa but no employment websites that specifically cater for them. This means that they have to sift through a multitude of jobs to find companies looking to hire disabled people and even when they are successful, the companies may not completely understand what the different disabilities are and how they translate into the work environment.
“A lot of companies that want to hire people with disabilities often do not want to hire Deaf people because they feel that communication will be too much of an issue, they would rather hire people with physical disabilities. I know Deaf people who have shown up for interviews only to be told the company was looking for someone with a different type of disability,” Mthimkulu says. DEAF Careers 365 will help prevent this because the companies on the site will specifically be looking to hire Deaf Individuals and as such will be aware of what it means to have Deaf employees, as well as the kind of work environment necessary to effectively accommodate them.
“We know that the Deaf community in South Africa is very small and as a result our website may not be as successful as other job websites but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for it. We hope to visit companies that hire a lot of disabled individuals as well as Deaf owned businesses to make them aware of our site and why we feel it is important. Hopefully this will spark interest from a number of companies and they will register on our site,” Mthimkulu concludes.