Once you’ve secured the job you want, it’s time to prepare for how your hearing loss may factor into the workplace. The Hearing Loss Association of America suggests making a list of all your responsibilities and determining which, if any, may require special accommodations. You should also proactively seek solutions to potential hurdles and present them to your boss. Some areas that may require creative solutions include phone communication, meetings and events.
For instance, if your job requires you to contact clients on the road with a cell phone, you should request a hearing aid compatible phone that can also receive text messages and email. Or, if your desk is near a busy area like the copy room that interferes with your ability to hear clearly, you could ask to be moved to another available workstation. Similarly, staff meetings might require an assistive listening system. Another solution is to write a summary of important points discussed during the meeting and run it past your boss to make sure nothing was left out.
You can also request the agenda in advance to prepare. Your job situation and necessary accommodations will be unique to you; in any case, it is important to be prepared and communicate your needs confidently and clearly. Do the research ahead of time and educate your employer about potential tax incentives. By giving you the tools you need to succeed in the workplace, your organization will run more smoothly and reap the benefits of fostering an inclusive atmosphere.