Volgens Articles

By Nico Strydom

Employees with a hearing disability can face many challenges in the workplace.

People with hearing impairments may encounter several challenging situations in the workplace of which their colleagues are not at all aware of. These include, communicating with colleagues and understanding or carrying out assignments properly if they are not clearly conveyed. This may lead to people with hearing impairments feeling isolated or excluded and them not being able to reach their full potential.

Hearing is of critical importance for effective communication in the workplace since most jobs require skills in communication, whether with the public or colleagues. The ability to hear and listen well enable employees to understand and execute instructions which in turn increases production. Misunderstandings may lead to mistakes, non-compliance with deadlines and unhappy customers.

It can be difficult for a person with a hearing impairment to tell someone at work about their condition because they may be embarrassed about it, or they might feel that it could result in them being treated differently, or even that there will be discriminated against them.

However, it can be of great value if someone explains their hearing loss to their colleagues so that they can communicate with them effectively. Instead of just telling your colleagues that you cannot hear, it may be better if you can explain in which situations you are struggling to hear and then you can give them advice on how to talk to you to ensure that you can hear and understand them.

If your hearing loss can have a major impact on your work, it is also important to inform your manager thereof. It may be beneficial if your manager is aware of this as it may result in you getting to work in your own office instead of an open plan office space where there is a lot of noise and where it may be difficult to concentrate. It is also sometimes challenging to determine whether someone is addressing you specifically in an open plan.

For people with hearing impairments, it may also be difficult to have conversations over the telephone. Thus, when your colleagues are aware of your challenges with hearing, they might consider rather coming to your office to chat instead of phoning you. When talking to someone in person, lip movements, facial expressions and body language can be used to get context regarding a conversation.

There are also potential safety risks in the workplace that can create problems for people with hearing loss if they are unable to hear and respond to safety instructions. Hearing loss can therefore also affect an employee’s physical safety.

It is extremely important to get the necessary help if your hearing loss starts to affect your work and your life. There are numerous aids, such as hearing aids, available that can make life significantly easier.

 

Sources:

Ida Institute: https://idainstitute.com/what_we_do/news/detail/coping_with_hearing_loss_in_the_workplace/

Hearing Aid Know: https://www.hearingaidknow.com/cope-survive-work-office-hearing-loss

Healthy Hearing: https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52738-Hearing-loss-in-the-workplace

Better Health Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hearing-loss-communication-in-the-workplace

 

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