Dealing with Hearing Loss at Work
Good communication skills are essential in office settings. However, a busy office environment can be difficult for someone who suffers from hearing loss. He or she may have difficulty communicating with colleagues or hearing at meetings, but this doesn’t have to harm a person’s career.
If you have hearing loss, you can take several actions that will make working in your office easier.
ASK FOR HELP
Asking for help is difficult, but the people you work with are your best resources when coping with hearing loss. Get to know your immediate coworkers and supervisor, and explain your hearing loss to them. They may have associated your hearing loss – either from a tendency to withdraw or from simply not hearing everything – as aloofness. Coworkers will be willing to help when they understand your needs.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORK AREA
If possible, choose the desk or work area in a quiet area of the office, so you can hear the most important things. Additionally, choose a work area that lets you see the people around you; this will help if you need to read lips or use sign language. Don’t be afraid to ask for reasonable modifications to your work area; the Americans with Disabilities Act covers them.
USE A HEARING AID
Today, many hearing aids are practically invisible. See your physician, who can refer you to a hearing specialist. A hearing aid will work wonders in navigating the work world.
Ask a coworker to be your note-taker and review important parts of meetings with you. If you take your own notes, highlight the most important parts of presentations. Jot down questions to ask a supervisor or coworker later.
Your coworkers won’t know how to communicate with you unless you tell them. Explain whether lip-reading, signing, or something else is most helpful to you. Offer tips; if you’re a lip-reader, respectfully remind coworkers not to turn away from you or cover their mouths when speaking.
You don't have to struggle in your work environment due to hearing loss. Call our professional audiologists today and let us help you enjoy the workday more!