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Managing Hearing Loss at Work

Reveal, Don't Conceal

Here are 10 ways to better manage your hearing loss in the workplace

As Seen in Hearing Health by Holly Cohen

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE your own hearing loss so that you are better prepared for whatever communication challenges you face at work. 
  2. REMEMBER that you bring experience , skills, and strengths to the workplace every day.  Your hearing loss does not define you and will not prevent you from performing well.
  3. EDUCATE yourself about accommodations such as CART (computer Assisted Real-time Translation), amplified/captioned/flashing light phones, and assisted listening devices that include FM systems, streamers, and PSAPs (personal sound amplification products).
  4. ADVOCATE for yourself by asking the appropriate person in your workplace for reasonable accommodations.  Emphasize the benefits to your employer.
  5. TELL your co-workers about your hearing loss and the best way to communicate with you.  Ask them to face you when speaking and to rephrase rather than repeat misheard words.  Be prepared to remind them again and again.
  6. PREPARE for meetings by requesting the agenda and a list of attendees beforehand, as well as CART and other assistive listening devices, if needed.  Arrive early to select a centrally located seat with your back to the window.
  7. ANTICIPATE your needs for conference calls.  Ask for remote CART transcript.  If CART is unavailable, ask colleagues to take notes.  During conference calls, ask people to identify themselves each time they speak.
  8. MAKE ARRANGEMENTS with colleagues if you cant hear the fire alarm, pages over the PA system, or other auditory alerts.
  9. READ hearing loss books, blogs, and magazines-such as this publication-to stay current on hearing loss issues.
  10. CONNECT with others in your hearing loss community through organizations such as the Hearing Loss Association of America (hearingloss.org) and Hearing Health Foundation (hhf.org).