There is an increasing number of working Americans who are experiencing hearing loss because of noise. Hearing losses are presently being experienced by around 22 million Americans. According to the National Institute on Aging, in the next 25 years around 28% of working Americans will have lost a portion of their hearing.
Hearing loss in the workplace can be traced for a number of reasons. The surroundings are full of noise, points out a director from the New York League for the hard of hearing. People retire and live at an older age. Noise is unavoidable in the places where people work.
Noises from people and machines reign in the environment. They are above communication level if they do not go past the limit of noise. An 85 decibel limit is set by federal law in workplaces. Working hand in hand with the disabled employee and the employer are organizations who provide aid for those struggling with hearing impairments.
Because hearing impaired people cannot do certain things, they can be accommodated easily by their employers. Amplified phones and location of desks away from noisy areas are examples. Another person may be tasked with taking calls instead. But you will have to explain these to the employer. Just because you are not being provided for to meet your needs doesn't mean that your supervisors don't care.
She instructs the employee to voice out what needs to be changed in office arrangements. An employee who might have need for a special gadget can show model numbers and costs of this gadget to the supervisor for approval and action. An employee can request to be relocated to another work area if he finds it too noisy.
The job search for the hearing impaired person is much the same as for others, except that every step of the way may be affected by the impairment. Uncertainties are among the first obstacles encountered. The person might be so confused about not knowing what he wants because of the worry that he will not get many job opportunities. Calling for an interview appointment is another tricky situation that needs to be addressed by the applicant. Timing when to reveal the impairment is also something needed to be addressed.
The anxiety of never getting promoted or losing the job is something the established employee faces. Hiding the impairment would cause the person to withdraw from interactions with others. He risks being marked as unmotivated and passive.
It is advisable to be open during the job search and while on the job. She does not advise putting the impairment on the resume, but she does recommend mentioning it during the interview.
Since the employer cannot ask about it, the candidate has the option to open up the topic for the benefit of the employer. Organizations provide employees with the opportunity to help educate their employers about the impact of hearing impairment. Counseling and workshops are provided for the hearing impaired employees as well as the employers.
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