Adults with Hearing Loss at Higher Risk for Unemployment

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | July 20th, 2020

Duane L. Smelser

Hearing loss makes it hard to connect with friends and family, and it also makes it harder to do your best work. You may have difficulty communicating at the office, or realize that hearing loss affects your safety on the job site. A recent study found that adults with hearing loss have a higher risk of unemployment than adults who can hear clearly.

Communicating at Work

One of the biggest challenges of hearing loss is that it makes it much harder to communicate at work. You may be able to follow conversations at home, but communicating at work can be a challenge. Background office noise can make it more difficult to hear what’s being said, or focus on tasks. You may even start missing important details or making mistakes.

Do you have a hard time hearing during meetings, or when talking to clients on the phone? Maybe you can’t always hear what’s being said and it’s affecting your confidence. You might feel embarrassed asking people to repeat themselves, or you may not even realize you’ve misheard what someone has said.  When communication breaks down in this way, you’re not doing your best work.

How Hearing Loss Affects Safety

Hearing loss can be a problem on job sites as well as in the office. Not only is it hard to communicate with your coworkers, hearing loss on the job can be a safety hazard. You rely on your hearing to notice where sounds are coming from, or warn you of danger. If you’re working with hearing loss, you may not notice the beeping of a truck that’s backing up, or a yell from a coworker telling you to stop the truck

Hearing Loss and a Higher Risk for Unemployment

Hearing loss has a lot more to do with your job than you think. Adults with hearing loss are more likely to be unemployed than adults who treat their hearing loss. A 2016 study shows that people with hearing loss are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed than those without hearing loss. The study also found that adults with hearing loss have a lower income than their hearing peers. Adults with hearing loss are 1.5 times more likely to have a low income than their coworkers with normal hearing.

When hearing loss makes it harder to do your job, you have a higher risk of unemployment. You could risk making a costly mistake at work, and you’re less likely to be promoted. People with hearing loss are less likely to get promoted or get hired for a new position.

Getting Accommodations at Work

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s illegal for your employer to discriminate against you due to a disability such as hearing loss. Your employer is also required to provide you with reasonable accommodations to help you at work.

Have you been having a hard time hearing at work? These are some of the accommodations you could ask for:

  • Request that all instructions be given in writing. This could be via email, or in a memo. Getting instructions in writing will reduce any miscommunications, and help you do great work without wondering if you heard the instructions correctly.
  • Request to sit near the speaker during meetings or briefings so you can hear what they are saying.
  • Request a workstation in a quieter spot in the office. Is your desk in the middle of the room, or right beside a noisy hallway? Moving your workstation to a quieter place can help you concentrate on tasks, and hear on the phone.

Treating Hearing Loss

If you’re living with untreated hearing loss, it’s time to start paying attention to your hearing health. Adults with hearing loss have a higher risk of unemployment and low income. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids can turn it all around, and help you do your best work. Modern hearing devices will help you focus on the sounds you want to hear, and ignore distracting background sounds. You’ll be able to follow what’s being said during meetings, hear on the phone, chat with your coworkers, and keep everyone safe on the job site. Find the perfect pair of hearing aids, and see how hearing aids can help you at work..

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