If you are living with a speech impediment and want to work, APM offers employment support to help people like you succeed in the workplace.
In this guide, you will find information about jobs for people with speech impediments and where to get help if you need it.
A speech impediment is a condition that affects someone's ability to speak clearly or fluently. A person with a speech impediment may have difficulty with;
- Speech production
- Voice strength
- Language expression, or
- They may be non-vocal
There are many different types of speech impediments such as:
- Apraxia of speech
Speech problems may also be caused by conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, brain injury or chronic laryngitis.
Every person's experience is different. For some people, their condition may not affect their ability to work. Others may experience challenges when looking for work or carrying out their job.
A wide range of jobs can be easily adjusted to suit different levels and types of communication. Workplace adjustments could include:
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
- Communicate in a different way (e.g. written)
- Speech Generating Communication Devices with Telephone Access
- Outgoing voice amplification telephone
Are speech impediments a disability?
If you are living with a speech impediment or language disorder and want to work, you might be eligible for Disability Employment Services. Disability Employment Services is a government funded program which assists people living with injury, illness or disability find work and feel confident in the workplace.
Check APM's list of supported conditions to see if you're eligible.
If you are worried about keeping your job, APM can help you access funding for workplace accommodations to help you succeed in the workplace.
Jobs for people with speech impediments
Below are some examples of jobs for people with speech impediments. For more tailored and personal career advice, speak with an Employment Consultant at APM. We can help you open the door to job opportunities that are a good fit for you.
If you are good with your hands and want a practical job, consider roles like workshop assistant, freight packer and factory worker.
These roles require limited verbal communication with customers or visitors. Team members can develop their own communication methods to create a safe and supportive work environment.
Check out how APM helped Guy find work as a workshop assistant in Strathalbyn.
Office based jobs like data entry, accounting and bookkeeping generally involve computer based tasks with limited verbal communication, such as looking at spreadsheets, analysing data and creating invoices.
Communication with customers can be done through written means such as emails and direct messaging, or using Speech Generating Communication Devices.
If your ideal work environment is outdoors, you might enjoy working as a groundskeeper, landscaper or gardener. These roles are highly practical and generally require limited verbal communication.
Attention to detail, the ability to use machinery and knowledge of plants and gardens are important skills for these roles.
Creative careers in photography, visual art and design are usually highly visual, requiring a limited amount of verbal communication.
Whether you work for a company or yourself as a freelancer, you can use written communication methods to interact with your clients such as email or direct messaging.
If you can express ideas and concepts clearly through writing, freelance writing might be a good fit for you.
Freelance writers work in all sorts of roles such as copywriting, editing, transcribing, grant writing and technical writing. Communication methods in these roles tend to be written.
Interview tips for people with speech impairments
Prepare answers to common interview questions.
In most interviews, the same types of questions will come up. Practice answering questions like:
- Why should we hire you?
- Give me an example of when you demonstrated initiative.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Don't forget non-verbal communication
Not all communication in an interview is verbal. Brainstorm ways in which you can communicate non-verbally in the interview too. This could include things like:
- Body posture
- Facial expression
If you find yourself feeling nervous, or struggling to articulate, oral motor exercises can help you before or even during your interview. These are facial exercises designed to increase the range of movement in your tongue, lips and jaw, designed to assist with the functions of speech and swallowing.
Practice with role play
It's natural to feel nervous about a job interview. Practicing can help you feel more confident.
One good method is to ask a friend or family member to pretend to be the interviewer. Afterwards, discuss with them what you did well and ways you could improve.
Check out APM's interview tips for more ways to prepare.
Need help finding jobs for people with speech impediments? APM is here to help.
Searching for work can be tough, especially if you feel overlooked by employers. If you're living with a speech impediment and want to work, APM is here to help.
We offer employment services that are tailored to your unique goals and needs, including workplace support to help you succeed in your new job.
Ready to get to work? Register today.