If you’re working with hearing loss, you’ve probably faced a few workplace challenges. When you can’t hear clearly, you’re bound to have the odd miscommunication or mix-up. Hearing loss makes it harder to multitask and it can use up a lot of extra energy. The good news is that hearing aids can help you hear at work, and you can ask for accommodations to help you hear.
Your Rights as an Employee
Did you know that as an employee with hearing loss, you have a lot of rights? The Americans with Disabilities Act protects all workers and mandates that you should not be discriminated against based on your hearing loss.
Your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with accommodations to help you do your best work. They also can’t fire you because of your hearing loss.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations are any changes your employer can easily make that will have an impact on how you do your job. This could include:
- Asking for a quieter workspace that’s not so close to the elevator or the meeting room
- Using speech to text technology to hear during meetings
- Sitting near the speaker during meetings
- Requesting minutes from all meetings so you can review them and make sure you understand everything.
- Asking for instructions in writing, for example in an email or a memo.
- Turning off any distracting background music or requesting that doors be closed during meetings.
Do your research and find out exactly what accommodations you can ask for. Then go to your employer confidently. You can share that you have hearing loss, remind your employer that you’re committed to doing great work, and ask for reasonable accommodations to help you achieve your desired results. Your employer is required to consider all requests and provide reasonable accommodations.
Assistive Technology That Can Help You work With Hearing Loss
You’re not the first person to work with hearing loss, so you can benefit from all the technology specifically designed to help you hear at work. These are some communication technologies that can help you hear at the office:
- Real-time captioning: Many meeting platforms like Zoom support real-time captioning. If you want to make sure you’ve heard every word during your next online meeting, turn on captioning and read what’s being said.
- Assistive listening devices: These small devices can make a world of difference during in-person meetings. You can place a small mic near the speaker and send the audio to special headphones or your hearing aids. You’ll be able to hear the speaker clearly, without worrying about other distracting sounds in the room.
- Video calls: If you have lots of online meetings, request video calls rather than audio-only calls. Seeing your coworkers’ facial expressions will help you follow what’s being said without straining to hear.
Hearing Aids Help You Work with Hearing Loss
Hearing aid technology is getting better every day. Some exciting new advancements have made it easier than ever to work with hearing loss. For example, sophisticated programs and features allow you to wirelessly connect your hearing aids to any Bluetooth-enabled device. You can connect to your phone or your computer and get all the audio streamed right to your ears.
Hearing aids also make it much easier to follow in-person conversations. Speech enhancement programs and noise reduction features help you focus on what you want to hear. You’ll be able to follow conversations more easily and you won’t have to ask people to repeat themselves so frequently.
Finally, hearing aids will reduce listening effort. Rather than spending all your energy straining to hear, you’ll be able to use that energy to get your work done. And at the end of the day, you’ll still have energy left over to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Are you ready to discover how hearing aids help you work with hearing loss? We have a wide selection of hearing aids to suit every hearing needs. Together we’ll find the devices that will help you hear during your workday, as well as during your evenings and weekends. Don’t let hearing loss hold you back, but come visit us today!