What is a Deaf Ecosystem? In State of Missouri, there are limited opportunities such as education training, ability to secure long-term, and well-paying employment has been difficult for Missourian with different levels of hearing loss. According to National Deaf Center statistics shows 48% deaf and hard of hearing are not in labor force, 5% unemployed, and 47% employed. Deaf and Hard of hearing business owners and individuals are faced with widespread, chronic unemployment but also improvements in technology to better communication. Deaf people are creating their own businesses and pushing employers to become more deaf and sign language friendly. “Deaf Ecosystem is a critical tool is a critical tool in combating the pervasive underemployment and unemployment that many Deaf and hard of hearing individuals experience. As commonly witnessed with many other minority groups, the Deaf and hard of hearing community’s collective wealth and opportunities are often exploited and dispersed into the larger society. Because resources tend to leave the community, Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are disempowered with severe negative impacts on their socio-economic status.” (Kelby Brick) This will lead to increased social and economic clout from the retention and expansion of jobs, resources and wealth within the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

Missouri Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing is searching for Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind businesses owners and employees of great companies in Missouri. We would love to do a Spotlight on you and your company. Please contact our Deaf Community Advocate, Sonya Smith at   sonya.smith@mcdhh.mo.gov.

EMPLOYMENT RATES IN MISSOURI. Comparing National to State numbers. For Deaf or Hard of Hearing people Nationally: 49% Employed; 6% Unemployed; 45% Not In Workforce. For Hearing People Nationally 73% Employed; 5% Unemployed; 22% Not in the Workforce; For Deaf or Hard of Hearing people in Missouri: 47% Employed; 5% Unemployed; 48% Not In Workforce; For Hearing People in Missouri 73% Employed; 5% Unemployed; 22% Not in the Workforce

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