Twelve percent of the U.S. working population has hearing difficulty, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you’re among this population, follow our tips below to help make your job easier and help you be more successful in your role.
You are entitled to workplace accommodations if your hearing loss limits one or more major life activities, per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Some accommodations that are commonly requested include:
- Getting a desk in a small office or quiet corner.
- Being able to work off-site somewhere quiet, like Round Rock Public 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.
Note that, though you don’t have to disclose your disability at any point in your employment, it may be in your best interest to request accommodations rather than let your performance suffer trying to keep your hearing loss hidden.
If your workplace is creating roadblocks rather than accommodating your needs, you can file a charge of employment discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can file yourself, or a family member, social worker or other representative can file for you. Grievances must be filed by mail or in person with the local EEOC office within 180 days of the violation.
Invest in Hearing Aids
You can also boost your work performance by investing in hearing aids. Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds to a level your ears can easily detect. They consist of four basic parts: a microphone, which picks up sounds in your environment; a processor, which amplifies sounds to meet your hearing needs; a receiver, which delivers sound to your ears; and a battery, which powers the device.
Today’s hearing aids offer amazing features such as rechargeability, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone compatibility, background noise reduction, automatic programming and more. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Tejas Hearing Aid Center today.