A Guide to Employment with Hearing Loss - Preferred Hearing Centers

East Orlando, FL

South Orlando, FL

Winter Springs, FL

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East Orlando, FL

South Orlando, FL

Winter Springs, FL

Prevalence of Hearing Loss in the Workplace

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately 60% of workers in the US workforce experience some degree of hearing loss, and the number is growing. In fact, hearing loss has been a growing concern for the past 25 years in the workplace.

Whether or not your hearing loss results from unsafe conditions in the workplace, there is no denying that untreated hearing loss makes your job – or searching for a job – challenging. With untreated hearing loss, you may find it difficult to communicate with colleagues, while the strain placed on your cognitive abilities may interfere with your concentration and productivity.

Because hearing loss is a prevalent medical condition in the US, workers with hearing loss are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Though hearing loss does bring challenges, there are a number of accommodations put in place to assist workers on the job.

Interviewing for a Job with Hearing Loss

The most important thing to keep in mind is that disclosure is up to you. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you are not required to disclose any information about medical procedures, use of hearing aids, or health conditions while applying for a job. At the same time, if you require accommodation during the course of the interview, you may ask for it.

If you do disclose your hearing loss, your potential employer may ask if you will be able to carry out essential functions on the job, such as responding in stressful environments and communicating effectively. In line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may respond, “Yes, with reasonable accommodation.”

Learn more about accommodations from the EEOC here.

Accommodations in the Workplace for Hearing Loss

If you are currently employed, and you have recently been diagnosed with a hearing loss or you are concerned about bringing up accommodations for your long-standing hearing loss in the workplace, know that there are a number of measures set forth to protect you.

According to the EEOC, “The ADA strictly limits the circumstances under which an employer may ask questions about an employee’s medical condition or require the employee to have a medical examination. Once the employee is on the job, his actual performance is the best measure of ability to do the job.”

That being said, there are a number of accommodations may be request of your employer to best perform your job. In a handbook provided by the Hearing Loss Association of America, you may take steps to procure these accommodations yourself.

In your place of employment, you may request to be seated away from louder places, which may help you hear better. For example, try to sit away from a copy machine or a gathering place such as the coffee machine or water cooler.

For meetings, you may find the use of an assistive listening device (ALD) useful. There are many different models available; do some research to find what would be suit your needs. Certain hearing aid models actually connect wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet; this allows you to stream amplified sounds from a meeting from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids.

Read more in-depth information on hearing loss and employment from the Hearing Loss Association of America here.

Benefits of Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss

In Hearing Loss Magazine, Mark Ross discusses the various challenges that people with hearing loss face when searching for a job.

According to Ross, “Most jobs in our society require some degree of interactive verbal communication. One must be able to communicate effectively with co-workers, the public, and most important, one’s supervisors. Any hindrance in that ability may interfere with the efficiency and accuracy of these communication exchanges and thus affect how well a job is performed. This, in turn may well influence the compensation that a person receives for the job he or she is doing. It can, for example, help determine how much people with a hearing loss are paid for a job or, indeed, whether they have a job at all.”

Though there are many measures in place to protect people with hearing loss, it is important to take the steps to ensure optimal hearing health. In addition to experiences in the workplace, hearing loss may affect various aspects of your life, from interpersonal relationships to related medical issues (such as an increased risk for dementia, depression, stress, and anxiety).

If you have been experiencing changes in your hearing, contact us at Preferred Hearing Centers. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and will support you on the journey to better hearing.

Your Top-Rated and New Favorite Hearing Care Providers in Orlando and Winter Springs, FL...

I cannot say enough excellent things about Jaycee and Barbara at Preferred Hearing. The staff is so kind and Jaycee took a lot of time with me to be sure I understood every test and reviewing all my options for hearing devices. I’ve only had my hearing aids one week, but it’s been a life changing week! Best decision I ever made coming to Preferred Hearing. (I am 80 years young again) - Mary Ann A. mary ann a review

Great team at the Winter Springs office. Knowledgeable, professional, friendly, outgoing and that's just the beginning. Barbara at the front desk is a sweetheart. Jaysee is THE professional you want to adjust your hearing aids. He can translate your hearing issues into adjustments that work. Highly recommend this group Hearing Professionals.

- Thomas K.
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I was impressed with the great detail of the hearing examination. I was a little skeptical about hearing aids but the staff is very professional and very experienced. I purchased a great set of hearing aids that have changed my life so I can hear so much better! They did not try to upsell me or sell me a pair that was extra expensive. They only showed me what I needed for my hearing aids. I highly recommend Preferred Hearing Centers!

- Hank K.
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I had been with another hearing center and was not getting help with my profound hearing loss. In a last try I went to Preferred Hearing. The hearing testtng was more extensive than Florida Hospital audiologist! My problem was documented and corrected with streaming bluetooth hearing aids. It has made my life so much more fun again. I can watch TV with other humans without the volume blowing them out of the room. I can go to dinner with friends and hear them talking. Highly recommend to anyone with hearing loss!

- Alexis G.
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*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Preferred Hearing Centers. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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