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6 Tips for Working With Hearing Loss

Sep 12, 2014 6 Tips for Working With Hearing Loss

If you have a hearing impairment, you may face many challenges in the workplace. Indeed, research has shown that those with hearing impairment earn less and get passed over for promotion more often than those with normal hearing. Here are some tips from certified audiologists to help you be your best on the job and stay at the top of the pack...

Trying to work when you have a hearing impairment is a challenge. Phone conversations are difficult, and not being able to hear what is being said in meetings can leave you out of the loop and unsatisfied in your job. If you wear ​hearing aids, you will certainly be able to hear the world around you better. And there are things you can do at work to make sure you’re hearing your best, and working your best.

1) Share Your Story

First, tell your boss and co-workers about your hearing loss. Let them know about how you hear and don’t hear, and tell them how they can communicate with you to help you be most productive.

2) Talk In Person

People with hearing loss tend to communicate better in person than over the phone, so let your colleagues know that whenever possible, they should speak to you face-to-face. Lip reading, body language and facial expressions will help you better interpret what people are saying to you.

3) Stay In Your Line Of Sight

If people are trying to get your attention and you aren’t responding, ask them to walk into your line of sight. Being tapped on the back can be startling, but if someone walks toward you from the front, you can anticipate his or her arrival.

4) Face Forward

In meetings, ask that people face forward when they’re talking, and not talk when their backs are turned, like when writing on a whiteboard or taking notes. When someone’s back is turned to you, his or her voice projects away from you, making it hard to understand what’s being said.

5) Get Some Private Space

Open-office cubicles tend to be louder than closed-office environments, and can put a strain on anyone’s listening skills, let alone someone with a hearing impairment. If possible, ask to be put into an office with a closing door, so you can turn down outside noises and work more efficiently.

6) A Little Patience Goes A Long Way

Talk to your colleagues, and let them know that while your hearing impairment can be frustrating for both you and them, a little patience goes a long way in creating a happy, productive work environment. And visit your ​audiologist regularly to make sure you have the tools you need to hear your best – at work, at home and in your life.

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