Inclusion in the Workplace
Working in both the NHS and Private sector of Audiology I have great experience in dealing with every question out there relating to hearing loss. However, when the question comes up ‘my employers know I have a hearing loss but don’t help me!!’ I’m a little stuck, mainly has I have ask myself is this because the employers as the employees sees as they just don’t care or is it simply that the employer just doesn’t know how best to support you as an individual?
How many times when speaking on the phone does a conversation due to hearing related issues becomes difficult to understand what the other person has said and you end with the words ill send you an email?
Feeling stressed and excluded
Working in a busy office or factory floor or any busy environment can make hearing conversations very difficult but more so when that individual suffers from a hearing loss. It can become very stressful and lonely. However, the worse thing that you can do is to hide the extent of the challenges you are facing because you are worried how the employer will address the situation with you, whether you are struggling on the phone, finding it difficult to have a clear and concise conversations or not being able to hear people approaching you from behind while you were at your desk causing you a real fright when they tapped you on your shoulder.
From talking to patients I have seen over the years the lack of deaf awareness amongst their colleagues mean that they feel they would often miss out on not just the work related conversations but the banter leaving them feeling more anxious and excluded.
Talking was the Breakthrough
So, what could you do about it? Approach your line manager and explained the situation. You can then take the decision to do a Workplace Assessment. It would identify the impact of your hearing loss at your work and offer solutions to improve your working environment, including helping with well-being and inclusion in the workplace.
Some times people worry about what solutions the assessor might recommend and how this might impact your work colleagues causing negative feedback and reluctance in supporting you. But we at St Josephs Hospital Audiology can help you with this and give advice and guidance on the extra discreet technology available to you.
How RG Hearing at St.Josephs Hospital can Help You!
We will listen carefully to what you need, all your issues, reservations, stresses and productivity concerns. Knowing you have the support of us and your employer will help ease all the above. We will demonstrate the use of mini mics to help and can be used as a conversation listener to improve clarity in meetings and also as a telephone clip. This could stream phone calls direct into my hearing aids with the help of a hearing aid receiver.
Deaf awareness training for your colleagues
Finally, if you feel that your works could benefit from deaf awareness training in the workplace. We will happily attend a training day and offer the right level of training whether face to face or electronic with personal tips on deaf awareness.
Its hard to forget sometimes that hearing loss affects so many people in completely different ways, and with help and support you might just help another colleague out the same way, with out even knowing it.
We look forward to helping you!!