Hearing Loss Adversely Affects Success in the Workplace
Hearing loss can pose as a potential problem while being considered for employment opportunities. Even though the Equality Act (2010) prevents companies from discriminating against hearing impaired individuals during job interviews, several people still face unfair treatment in the workplace and may not be hired due to their hearing impairment.
In a recent study it was found that around 72% of hearing impaired individuals do not receive any form of support from friends or family when searching for jobs. Moreover, a recent 2018 study found that as much as 44% of hearing impaired candidates did not inform their potential employer about their hearing loss during the interview out of fear of being rejected.
Even once they are employed, around 62% of people with hearing loss face a significant amount of discrimination in the workplace from their coworkers. In fact, in the past 3 years, 63 work organizations have faced enquiries from the Equality Commission due to complaints about discrimination taking place in the workplace against those with hearing loss.
Simple changes in the workplace can go a long way in helping hearing impaired employees feel more included and involved in the work environment. Using texting policies, people can encourage written communication rather than verbal ones to ensure that those with hearing problems are able to understand their work requirements. Written emails, memos, and presentations can help those with hearing loss feel more included and more at ease while at work.
Designing a work environment keeping hearing impaired employees in mind can also help in improving job satisfaction in those with hearing loss. You can make sure that those with hearing loss are seated away from loud machines such as copiers and printers, to prevent these background noises from disrupting their already limited hearing.
Encourage direct face to face contact by having them sit facing their coworkers instead of in a corner to enable lip reading for those with hearing loss. Make sure the lighting in the office is
sufficient as well and reduce background noises as much as possible. Small changes can go a long way in improving work productivity for those facing the challenges of hearing loss.