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Suggested Citation:"Vocational Interests and Plans." National Research Council. 1946. Learning to Use Hearing Aids: A Study of Factors Influencing the Decision of Children to Wear Hearing Aids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21371.
Suggested Citation:"Vocational Interests and Plans." National Research Council. 1946. Learning to Use Hearing Aids: A Study of Factors Influencing the Decision of Children to Wear Hearing Aids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21371.
Suggested Citation:"Vocational Interests and Plans." National Research Council. 1946. Learning to Use Hearing Aids: A Study of Factors Influencing the Decision of Children to Wear Hearing Aids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21371.

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60 LEARNING T0 USE HEARING AIDS working in a drug store, workin g in the eost office, and tending furnaces, and one boy devotes one week every month to clerical work. The remainder of them, however, have never been employed. Two of the parents reported that their children had sought em­ ployment but no employer would hire them after they had men­ tioned the fact that they wore hearing aids. On the other hand, the boy who is employed at clerical work related that his employer insisted upon his wearing his hearing aid at the office. Both the boy and the girl aid wearers appear to be realistic in their choice of vocations and precise in theit' planning. They show a tendency to choose careers within the limits of their intellectual and physical resources. They choose the kind of work that will not tax their ability to hear nor be hampered by the use of a hear­ ing aid. Their school programs have been planned to prepare them for the kind of work they want to do and the guidance counselors in all cases felt that these boys and girls had made wise choices. It may be that the apparent wisdom shown by these children in choice of a career is the result of consultation with guidance coun­ selors, who helped them plan their programs and make their de­ cisions for future careers in the light of their physical handicaps. The no-aid girls appear to have a less realistic approach to the problem, both in degree of planning and in choice of vocation. A greater number have no plans or are vague as to what they hope to do in the future. In some cases, their present academic training is not the type to prepare them for the careers they say they would like to follow. Two of the no-aid girls had no plans and one of the parents reported that her daughter's aspiration was to be married. Among the vocations mentioned by the girls in this group were those of dressmaker, typist, bookkeeper, costume designer, interior decorator, and beauticia·n. Although 3 0 per cent of the group are , taking courses to prepare themselves for their chosen vocations, others are taking work entirely unrelated t� their vocational choices and have made no plans for acquiring the necessary skills. For ex­ ample, one girl who is taking a course in industrial design hopes to be a typist. All of the boys, however, are realistic in their approach to this problem. One boy who does. not like to wear his aid because of his self-consciousness plans to study scientific agriculture. His parents

VOCATIONAL I N TERESTS 61 are saving so that they can buy him a farm where he can carry out scientific farming. His mother stated that he would be happier re­ ·moved from an urban environment to surroundings that would make fewer demands on his hearing. Another boy hopes to be either a carpenter or a printer ; both choices seem to be possible as he is taking a program of work to prepare himself for either career. A third boy wants to be a mechanic but has been turned down by a trades high school because of his hearing loss. Inasmuch as he would prefer to choose a vocation where he will not need his aid, his fat�er has offered to set him up in business as a garage mechanic. He recognizes the fact that he will have to get some technical train­ ing before he realizes his ambition. Four of the no-aid boys and girls have had some kind of work experience. One girl did clerical work in an office and the other girl was an _usher in a movie house. One boy worked on a news­ paper truck and the other was a delivery boy for a neighborhood grocery store. It is significant that three of these children said that they gave up their jobs because they found it necessary to wear aids at work. They preferred to give up the jobs and face unem­ ployment rather than be subjected to the curiosity of their fellow workers because they wore hearing aids. The no-aid girls have not planned as well or as carefully as the aid wearers. Judging from their statements as to future careers, they tepd to choose work which will not be impeded by their fail­ ure to wear an aid. Their school programs do not show careful planning and preparation, and they seem to have chosen courses rather indiscriminately. The few who have had work experience show an inability to make the necessary adjustment to their physi­ cal handicap and none of them has been able to hold a job for any length of time. The boys, on the other hand, seem to have a clearer idea of their potentialities and have planned accordingly. As a group, both aid and no-aid wearers appear to have no clear­ ly defined ideals or ambitions except those pertaining to vocations. Among the ambitions that were mentioned were owning an auto­ mobile, and marrying a normal-hearing girl on a higher social level than the subject. One boy said he would like to be a ball player. Two girls mentioned marriage and family as a goal. One boy de­ sired to improve his social and financial status. They all desired

62 LEARNING TO USE HEARING AIDS some form of :financial independence and security, but showed no great concern about attaining their goal. None of them seemed to doubt his own ability to earn a living. Both aid wearers and no-aid wearers were sure that they would be able to overcome any diffi­ culties in securing employment. No outstanding abilities were evident among the subjects, with one exception. One boy who is using his aid to maximum ad­ vantage gave evidence of superior intellectual ability. He plans to study engineering and shows much promise of future success in such a career. Three of them had a flair for drawing, but their teachers felt they lacked sufficient talent to earn a livelihood as artists. They lacked the necessary ability to become designers, copy­ ists, or stylists. Approximately 5 0 per cent had had musical in­ struction of some kind but showed no outstanding ability in this direction. None of the others gave any indication as to outstand­ ing qualities which would make him potentially superior in any :field of endeavor. In general, the aid wearers have exercised better judgment con­ cerning the choice of school subjects, the types of high school courses, and their vocational careers than have the no-aid children. IX. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations This study was undertaken to determine the nature of the in­ fluences which affected children's decisions to use or not to use in ­ dividual hearing aids. The educational and guidance activities were also considered in relation to their effectiveness in enabling a child to use an aid to best advantage. The subjects were thirty-eight children who had been given hearing aids in connection with the National Research Council Study carried on by the subcommittee of the Committee on Problems of Deafness to investigate the value of individual hearing aids for hard-of-hearing children. They ranged in age from twelve years eleven months to eighteen years

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