There are currently more than 1.5 billion people in the world living with some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss can affect many parts of your daily life, from having trouble hearing the television to struggling to understand what a coworker is saying during a work presentation. Knowing the available personal and employer-provided accommodations for hearing loss can help you remove some of the associated stress and find greater enjoyment in your workplace.
Let’s examine a couple of personal and employer-provided accommodations available to manage your hearing loss at work.
Personal Accommodations for Managing Hearing Loss
Personal changes or accommodations you can make for your hearing loss include but are not limited to:
- Wear hearing aids. Hearing aids collect and amplify sound and transmit it directly into the ear canal. When worn during work, they can help ensure that you aren’t missing important information during meetings. Hearing aids also come with noise suppression features that can make understanding speech sounds in noisy environments, such as after-work dinner with coworkers at The Wheel Barrel, much easier.
- Talking about your hearing loss. If you feel comfortable doing so, inform your coworkers and management of your hearing loss. Talking to your coworkers about your hearing loss will give them the information they need to help you understand them. Changes they can make include facing you while they speak, rephrasing their sentences or choosing quieter settings for meetings and after-work outings.
- Pick a good seat. Try choosing a seat closest to the speaker, or most central at a table, to help you hear and understand what is being said during meetings.
Employer-Provided Accommodations for Managing Hearing Loss
Workplaces are mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide reasonable accommodations to those with hearing loss. Workplace accommodations may include but are not limited to:
- Assistive listening devices (ALDs). ALDs work by amplifying sound and bringing it directly to the ear. They can be an effective tool in providing hearing loss accommodation.
- Captioning. Most video call services come equipped with closed captioning that can be turned on during meetings to help prevent missed words or phrases. There are also real-time captioning devices that can be used during in-person meetings to translate speech into text.
- Written communication. Memos, meeting notes and other forms of written communication can be requested in place of spoken announcements to help prevent miscommunications or missed information.
For more information on managing or treating your hearing loss, contact Topeka Ear Nose & Throat today to make an appointment with one of our specialists.