February 26, 2024

Working with Hearing Loss

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Hearing loss can make some everyday tasks a bit more complicated. You need to carefully focus on what your loved one says over breakfast, and you can’t multitask and listen at the same time. Hearing loss also impacts your job. Working with hearing loss can present a few unique challenges, but with the right hearing aids, you’ll easily keep up at the office or on the job site.

Know Your Rights

If you have hearing loss, make sure you learn more about your rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act is clear that employers may not treat you differently based on any disability. This includes hearing loss. Your employer also has the legal responsibility to help you do your job effectively. They’re required by law to provide reasonable accommodations that can help you be a great employee.

Ask For Accommodations

When you know your rights, you’ll feel confident in asking for reasonable accommodations. You can let your boss know about your hearing loss and explain how it affects your job. With a few changes, you’ll be able to overcome these challenges and be a more effective team player.

Possible accommodations may include:

  • Sitting at the front of the room during meetings so you don’t miss any key information.
  • Getting meeting minutes in writing so you can review the information and make sure you didn’t miss anything.
  • Requesting instructions in writing so you’re always on the right track.
  • Asking that any background music is turned off, that meetings are held in a quieter room, or that the door is closed to dim distracting background sounds.
  • Moving your workspace to a quieter part of the office to minimize noises that make it harder for you to focus on tasks or hear on the phone.

Use the Right Technology

In a post-COVID world, we’re relying on technology more than ever before. This could lead to communication issues, such as having a hard time hearing during zoom meetings or mishearing important information. If you have hearing loss, there’s a lot of technology that can help you work with hearing loss.

  • Assistive listening devices can make it easier to hear during in-person meetings. For example, you can place a mic near the speaker and send the audio directly to your earbuds or your hearing aids for better comprehension.
  • Real-time translation can also help during those in-person briefings. These speech-to-text programs can give you a written version of everything being said, so you never have to guess the details you didn’t hear.
  • Request video calls rather than audio calls. In the post-COVID world, we’re all used to using zoom for many of our meetings. Going forward, you can request to have more meetings on zoom rather than having audio calls or conference calls. Having video, or even video with auto-captions, can make it much easier to work with hearing loss.

Hearing Aids at Work

The best technology you can use when working with hearing loss is hearing aids. These sophisticated devices will make it easier to hear at work, both in-person and online. You’ll be able to focus on the sounds you want to hear using advanced speech enhancement programs. This program not only makes speech louder but also makes it clearer. You’ll have an easier time distinguishing speech sounds and hearing every conversation. Meanwhile, noise reduction settings help reduce distracting sounds you don’t want to hear.

Advanced connectivity features can be a lifesaver at work. Your hearing aids can connect directly to your phone, computer, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. You’ll be able to stream audio from calls, video calls, or other sound sources right to your ears.

In the post-COVID world, hearing loss has become more mainstream. People have been talking about hearing loss, as well as realizing how challenging it can be to hear with face masks and while social distancing. Communication challenges are being understood by more people, including co-workers and employers. Visit us today to find out more about your hearing health and hearing needs! Find out how working with hearing loss can be a breeze.

Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.

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