Navigate hearing loss with ease in professional settings with these helpful tips.
Of the 48 million people who report some level of hearing loss, as many as 60% are either working or pursuing an education. If you have hearing loss and are looking for the ways to navigate with ease in professional settings, here are a few tips and tricks for handling hearing loss at work:
- Be prepared and stay organized
- Request a quiet work environment
- Educate your coworkers
- Be your own advocate
Keep reading to learn more about handling hearing loss at work.
1. Be prepared and stay organized
One of the greatest concerns with handling hearing loss at work is often a fear of missing important information. To combat this, you can stay organized and prepare ahead of time when possible. If you have a meeting coming up, consider requesting a written agenda in advance so you can follow along more easily. If you feel comfortable, ask a coworker to take notes for you in case you miss something. Once the meeting is over, consider confirming the main talking points with a coworker to ensure you have everything covered.
2. Request a quiet work environment
If you experience hearing loss, consider requesting a quieter workspace. Ideally, you would like a workspace with limited background noises, like copy machines, bustling reception areas, or the office break room. Not only can a quiet, distraction-free space make it easier to have conversations, but it can also promote better focus and productivity at work.
3. Educate your coworkers
Chances are, your coworkers would be more than willing to learn how they can lend support – so feel free to let them know how they can help. Provide specific suggestions, such as saying your name before speaking to you or holding meetings at round tables or in a circle to make it easy to see each participant as they speak. Ask your supervisor to email the instructions and share notes after the meeting in addition to verbally sharing information.
4. Be your own advocate
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for people with hearing loss to help them perform their job. Consider requesting tools that would make your job easier, such as a telephone amplification accessory or captioned telephone for hearing lossthat displays captions to help you catch every word – with or without an assisted listening device. You can also suggest installing a loop system in the conference room if you use hearing aids or cochlear implants to make it easier to pick up sound no matter where you sit. FM systems that use radio frequencies are also helpful additions to collaborative workspaces.
We hope these tips and tricks offer encouragement and insight to help you handle hearing loss at work. Find more resources for people with hearing loss here, and visit our blog for more articles on living with hearing loss today.