Starting a new job is an exciting yet nerve-wracking endeavor. If you have hearing loss, you may be especially nervous about how it might make your job harder. Thankfully, there are a few tips that can help you navigate your new job and find success.
Rights Guaranteed for Employees With Hearing Loss
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers make reasonable accommodations to enable applicants and employees with hearing loss unless doing so would be an undue hardship. This enables people with hearing loss to enjoy equal employment opportunities unless doing so would be an undue hardship. Examples of possible accommodations include:
- An assistive listening device
- A sign language interpreter
- Voice-to-text technology
- Situating an employee in a quieter part of the office
If you believe a certain accommodation would help you perform your job better, make sure to bring it up with your employer so that they can help you thrive at your new workplace.
Wear Your Hearing Aids at Work
If you have hearing aids, wearing them at work will make your job much easier. Hearing aids work to amplify speech and sounds, suppress background noise and improve your ability to communicate with others.
Feeling confident in your ability to communicate helps in all aspects of your work life, from giving presentations and meeting with clients to building relationships with your colleagues during a break at The Coffee Shop.
Communicating With Your Coworkers
Even with hearing aids or other assistive listening devices, it can still be helpful to inform your coworkers of good communication strategies that will make it easier for you to follow during conversations. For example, you can ask that they always try to face you and not cover their mouths when they are speaking to you. Additionally, you can let them know if it’s easier to put certain information in writing (like an email) so that you can read it and ensure you don’t miss anything.
Hearing Loss and Working Virtually
In addition to working at the office, there are also ways to make communication easier if you have hearing loss and a new job where you spend at least some of your time working from home. These include:
- Using Bluetooth™ to sync your hearing aids with your laptop or other devices where you have virtual meetings to stream audio directly.
- Use captioning features in virtual meetings.
- Have participants keep their mute button on unless they are speaking.
- Keep your camera on when speaking.
- Record virtual meetings and send the recordings to all participants.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist, call South Valley Ear Nose & Throat today.