10 Ways to Make Hearing Loss Easier to Deal with at Work
We’re going to take a look at 10 things you can do at work to make it a better place for you to be productive and successful despite dealing with hearing loss.
#1 Face Challenges Head On
If you are unwilling to admit to yourself that hearing loss makes the work environment more challenging, it can be even more difficult to rise up to the challenges and succeed.
#2 Know Your Strengths
Don’t let hearing loss blind you to the things you do well. You likely have strengths, experiences, and skills that others at your place of work do not possess.
#3 Learn About Tech
Are there more advanced hearing aids and accessories that can benefit you? As new features are developed, keep asking your hearing professional about what may be of benefit to you.
#4 Ask to Be Accommodated
If you need something special at work (for example, a quiet place to take phone calls so you can hear them without background noise), don’t be afraid to ask. When you explain your situation to a supervisor and the productivity benefits that will come from having your request met, you are more likely to have what you need in order to be successful.
#5 Talk with Coworkers
Let your coworkers know about your situation and how best to communicate with you. This will limit the potential for misunderstandings that may affect working relationships or collaborative efforts.
#6 How to Handle Meetings
See if you can get an agenda before meetings. This will allow you to know what is being discussed. Having an outline will help you follow along even if you miss a word here and there. Sitting in direct line of view to the speaker and with your back to any windows will allow you to supplement hearing the speaker with watching his or her lips.
#7 How to Handle Conference Calls
If you can use an amplification product or a phone that pairs with your hearing aids, this will help immensely. If not, you may at least want to ask everyone to identify themselves before speaking so you still know who is speaking despite how difficult it may be to tell voices apart in such a situation.
#8 Emergency Arrangements
If your hearing is bad enough that you worry you may miss an emergency alert, be sure to talk with a trusted coworker who can come get you should the fire alarm go off or you receive instructions over the PA system.
#9 Keep Up-to-Date
There is plenty of information online and in print to help you stay in the know about hearing aid advancements and to provide you with tips on how to cope with hearing loss.
#10 Join a Community
Interact with others who are experiencing the same things as you. There are plenty of groups you can join online such as the Hearing Health Foundation (hhf.org) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (hearingloss.org).
Statistics and research mentioned are taken from the Better Hearing Institute. BHI is a not-for-profit corporation that educates the public about the neglected problem of hearing loss and what can be done about it. Find them at www.betterhearing.org.
Article Written By
Caleb Rhodes, HIS
Caleb Rhodes studied at Western Kentucky Technical and Community College and Parkland College in Champaign Illinois with a focus on hearing instrument sciences. He began assisting the hearing impaired in 2003 and is licensed as a hearing instrument specialist.
I have one more year warrantee on my current BTE aids. I would be interested in this new technology, if it works well in noisy environments, can be adjusted to aid weak or lost high frequencies, and what the approx. cost is.