The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 12% of the U.S. working population has hearing difficulty. If you have hearing problems and are in the workforce, below are some tips that could help you be more successful in your job.
If your hearing loss limits one or more major life activities, you’re entitled to accommodations per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some frequently-requested workplace accommodations include:
- Getting a desk in a small office or quiet corner.
- Being able to work off-site somewhere quiet, like Fort Myers Regional Library.
- Sitting front and center during meetings.
- Receiving copies of written materials, like agendas and minutes.
- Accessing on-screen captioning during virtual meetings.
- Getting a captioned telephone for your desk from CaptionCall, ClearCaptions, InnoCaption, CaptionMate or Hamilton CapTel.
- Using your smartphone to generate captions.
- Accessing assistive listening devices.
- Implementing visual emergency warning systems.
While you don’t have to disclose your disability during your interview or at any point during your employment, it might be in your best interest to request accommodations before your job performance suffers.
If Your Workplace Won’t Accommodate You…
If you’re running into roadblocks after requesting these or similar workplace accommodations, you can file a charge of employment discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Grievances must be filed by mail or in person with the local EEOC office within 180 days of the violation. You can file yourself, or a family member, social worker or other representative can file for you.
Invest in Hearing Aids
Another way to boost your performance at work is to invest in hearing aids.
Before getting hearing aids, you must first get a comprehensive hearing examination. This exam may be made up of several tests, such as pure tone testing, speech testing, bone conduction testing, tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing, auditory brainstem response (ABR) and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs).
After your hearing test, your audiologist can recommend a set of hearing aids based on your type and degree of hearing loss as well as your lifestyle needs. For example, someone with more severe hearing loss or who works in a more demanding workplace will need a higher-tier technology than someone with milder hearing loss who works in a quieter workplace.
Today’s hearing aids offer amazing features such as rechargeability, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone compatibility, background noise reduction, automatic programming and more.
To learn more about today’s hearing aids or to schedule an appointment, call Gulf Coast Audiology today.