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The workplace can be an intimidating environment if you are not well prepared, and it can be more so if you have a hearing impairment. The good news is that with the right attitude, information and strategies in play you can effectively integrate into your new workplace or make adjustments to your current one, knowing the following:
Always have a notebook handy so that you write down details and specific information to for review. Times, dates and locations are examples of information that can be written and confirmed via text or email for confirmation. Basically, any information that you feel might be open to misinterpretation should be documented and then reviewed so that you can work effectively and help yourself and others to be on the same page.
This technique can be used for meetings and work agenda’s as well.
Take a look at the location of your desk or cubicle. Is it in a high traffic area that might hinder your hearing abilities? Would you be more effective if you were sat further away from the copy machine, or the window facing construction or the door to the employee lounge? Ask to be relocated so you can lessen any noisy distractions in order for you to be a more effective employee!
What duties are best suited to your skills? Make sure you highlight your performance skills and accomplishments so that your employer will be able to delegate duties that are well suited to you.
With practice you will find it easier and gain more confidence as you learn to inform people about your condition. Sharing your condition with people ahead of time and giving them insight as to how they can help facilitate better communication is a win-win for everyone. For example, “Sorry to interject but I have hearing loss in this ear, would you mind if I trade seats with you so that I can better understand what you are saying?”
Inform, educate and make pragmatic suggestions and everyone will benefit!
Meetings and workshops
Before meetings or workshops are held be proactive and have questions ready and take notes while they are held. In this manner you can review and confirm information at a later date via email. Request meeting agendas before they are held so you can be better prepared. In the same manner, request meeting notes so that you can double check to make sure you haven’t missed any crucial details and can follow up on any information about which you are unsure.
Learn to guide the flow of discussions if you fall behind by politely requesting people to paraphrase or repeat what they have said so you can stay engaged. This also effective when too many people are speaking at once. Suggest that people speak in turns and let them know it would be of great benefit to you and enable you to participate better in group situations.
Best case scenarios for you would be to have a round table for meetings so that you seat yourself at the most advantageous spot having the ability to view everyone clearly. This will allow you to focus on people’s faces and body language to get a better context of what is being communicated.
At Absolute Audio, we can help you navigate through the many options available for better hearing. The field of hearing devices and technology for the hearing impaired is vast and you are best served by voicing your specific needs in order to have them met. From being fitted to hearing aids to assistive listening devices, your due diligence and communication with us for both your home and work needs will save you time and money.
Technology has many offerings for the hearing impaired from loop induction systems that can be installed in meeting rooms in the office, video phones, hearing amplifiers and even real time speech to text software and hardware for your computer.
In addition, many phone apps have been created to become an integral part of elevating and catering to your hearing needs.
The American Disabilities Act was created for workers conditions that are to be provided for so that they can assimilate productively into the workforce and establish their value not only for themselves, but for their employers and their company. Get to know your rights and be your own advocate.
At Absolute Audio, we look forward to your call and any questions regarding your hearing health. We understand the importance of attending not only to your auditory health, but your overall well-being. With your first appointment we can get you started on a healthier hearing you for a fuller richer more productive life!