People suffering from hearing loss often encounter different problems in the workplace. The magazine for hearing impaired Norwegians, Din Hørsel, has conducted a survey among hearing impaired people about work life and hearing loss. Below you may find some of their advice for employees and employers:
- Use a good hearing aid. A well fitted and well functioning hearing aid is a must for hearing impaired employees - not least in the workplace.
- Be open about your hearing loss. Openness builds trust between you and your employer and brings you closer to your colleagues.
- Use assistive listening devices, if possible, when on the phone or in meetings.
- Explain to your employer about the importance of good acoustics in meeting rooms and common areas for employees.
- Network with colleagues who know your situation. They can help to explain the point if you miss it.
- Be consistent in informing colleagues about your needs so that they always know how they can help you. Never be afraid to point out when you missed a message.
- Consistent use of overheads, power point presentations, blackboards and other visual means of communication makes the day easier for hearing impaired employees.
- Important information and instructions should be given in writing to avoid misunderstandings.
Take special care when informing your colleagues about your hearing loss, not just about what you say. Be polite and explain briefly about your hearing loss, the problems associated with it and how your colleagues can be helpful.
Sources: "How's your work life? Assessing and Resolving Hearing Loss-Related Problems in the Workplace", Hearing Loss, November/December 2002, and Din Hörsel, Nr 4, May, 2003.
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