Hearing loss and employment

People with hearing loss may have have difficulty getting and keeping jobs. Those that have employment need communications accommodations to function most effectively. Employer’s efforts to provide accommodation greatly affect the attitudes of people with hearing loss towards their work.

It may be extremely difficult for people with hearing loss to get a job. Whether because of ignorance, uncertainty, fear, or malice, employers are often unwilling to hard of hearing, late deafened, or oral deaf people. This is illegal under various laws in the United States, but is still an extremely common practice. In addition to the obvious consequence that many hard of hearing, late deafened, and oral deaf persons don’t have jobs, many are stuck in jobs that are unfulfilling , offer no advancement possibilities, or lack challenge and interest; they are stuck because they think it extremely unlikely that they will get hired for another job, regardless of their qualifications and experience.

February 2013 – Are physicians with hearing loss getting needed support

February 2013 – DOT Authorizes Truck Drivers with Hearing Loss

February 2013 – Would a Deaf Lifeguard be ‘Qualified’ Under the ADA?

December 2012 – Fighting Workplace Discrimination against the Hearing Impaired

October 2012 – Better Hearing Means Less Stress at Work

September 2012 – Truck Drivers with Hearing Loss Can’t Cross State Lines

July 2012 – Task Force Examines Health Care Career Options for Deaf People

June 2012 – The dollars and sense of addressing hearing loss in the workplace

February 2012 – Deaf Americans: Fighting for the chance to serve in the military

January 2012 – Medical Billing Training Available for People with Hearing Loss

November 2011 – New York’s finest called out on hearing aid ban

October 2011 – Negative employment consequences of hiding your hearing loss

July 2011 – Should the military accept deaf recruits?

July 2011 – HLAA Convention: The Dozen Most Effective Communication Strategies for the Workplace

June 2011 – NYPD Cops with Hearing Aids File Discrimination Complaints with EEOC

May 2011 – The Effects of an Untreated Hearing Loss on Workplace Compensation

March 2011 – People with Untreated Hearing Loss Earn Less

February 2011 – Televised Deaf Discrimination Offers Opportunity for Discussion, Education

July 2010 – HLAA Convention: Job Search and Employment: Its Clear Communication is Critical!

October 2009 – HLAA Convention: Acoustics in the Workplace

June 2009 – HLAA Employment Toolkit

March 2009 – Hearing Aids Promote Job Preservation in Economic Tsunami

February 2009 – Disability Employment Survey Results Released

July 2008 – HLAA Research Symposium: What Research Tells Us of Lifelong Learning and its Impact on Earnings for People with Hearing Loss

May 2008 – Law Enforcement Officer with Hearing Loss Fired

April 2008 – Absenteeism Higher Among Hearing Impaired People

October 2007 – Hearing Loss Impacts Earnings

July 2007 – A Quiet Day at the Office: Acoustics for People who are Hard of Hearing

July 2007 – Hearing Loss in the Workplace: 2007 and Beyond

October 2006 – Here’s a great synopsis of baby boomers’ hearing loss, how it’s affecting their lives, and what they’re (not) doing about it.

March 2006 – We’ve all heard that hearing loss affects all aspects of life, including employment. A recent study in Denmark has confirmed this fact, and provides some quantitative results.

March 2006 – An article in the New Standard argues that attitude, not cost, is the main barrier to the employment of people with disabilities.

May 2005 – At the 2005 Western Symposium on Deafness Dr. John Schroedel and Dr. Douglas Watson of the University of Arkansas presented an excellent workshop entitled “Patterns in the Employment and Vocational Rehabilitation of Hard of Hearing Persons”.

March 2005 – Ever notice that most of the people who work in organizations for the “Deaf and hard of hearing” are either Deaf or hearing? In many of these organizations you can count the number of hard of hearing people on one hand – and have five fingers left over! We’re running a series on the awakening oral hearing loss (OHL) community, and one of our focuses will be on organizations that falsely claim to serve Deaf and hard of hearing people. And we even have an advocacy group you can join! More information is is available in the Identity section.

January 2005 – Will the Department of Rehabilitation pay for you to attend law school?

October 2004 – Several years ago I started an email list to discuss workplace issues related to hearing loss. Exchanges are a bit sporadic, but we have had many wonderful discussions on employment issues. Here are two emails from a recent exchange.

July 2004 – If you think that the Federal Government is still looking to hire people with disabilities, you may be surprised by this article about a recent EEOC study!

October 2003 – Here are some thoughts on employment and hearing loss, as expressed on the HLWork email list, which focuses on hearing loss in the workplace.

July 2003 – Hearing loss in the workplace is always a popular topic at hearing loss conventions. Here’s Cheryl Heppner’s report on Beth Wilson’s workshop on that topic from the 2003 SHHH convention.

December 2002 – Dreading that holiday party? Here are some (tongue-in-cheek) tips from Randy Collins on how you can survive the ordeal.

November 2002 – Job hunt got you down? If you need a little pick-me-up (or even if you don’t), you’ll enjoy Attitude is Everything!

July 2002 – The 2002 SHHH Convention included a great workshop on hearing loss issues in the workplace. If you’re having problems at work, you may want to check out this report.

July 2002 – The SHHH Convention Research Symposium included the following employment-related presentations:

– Innovative Rehabilitation Interventions Regarding Employment by Dr. Steven Boone of the University of Arkansas Rehabilitation Research and Training (RRT) Center for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

– Maintaining Employment Status and Enhancing Personal Adjustment by Dr. Carren Stika of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) for Persons who are Hard of Hearing or Late Deafened

November 2001 – Anyone who’s read our newsletter for any length of time is familiar with Cheryl Heppner and her wonderful organization, NVRC. They recently held a workshop focusing on what employers are looking for in today’s market. Here’s Cheryl’s write-up.

October 2001 – You may have heard about a discrimination suit brought against Wal-Mart by two deaf men in Arizona. As a result of that suit, Wal-Mart will be paying for television ads in which the men tell their story. Here’s the information.

July 2001 – Japan Removes Occupation Restrictions on People with Disabilities

February 2001 – Here’s a great list of tips for people with hearing loss in the workplace. Thanks to Trudy Zahn (zahn@primary.net) for permission to share this with you.

January 2001 – Know any deaf lawyers? How many do you think ther are in the US? The answer may surprise you, as it did me and some of our readers. Here’s some interesting information on deaf lawyers in the US.

November 2000 – How are things at work? Does your hearing loss contribute to problems there? Is communications an issue. Get some ideas on how to approach these and other problems at the ALDACON 2000 Hearing Loss in the Workplace panel workshop.

July 2000 – There was a wonderful panel discussion on Hearing Loss and the Workplace at the 2000 SHHH convention. Cheryl Heppner of NVRC wrote up a great summary of the discussion and graciously shared it with us.

May 2000 – Another tough issue is determining for which jobs hearing is really a requirement, and for which it isn’t. Read about a court case involving an airline mechanic.

Think accommodations are too expensive? If you’re a small business, the Disabled Access Credit provides tax relief of up to $5,000 a year for accommodations you provide.

Life isn’t necessarily a lot better for people who have jobs, even for those who have fulfilling and challenging positions. Lack of accommodations in an employment situation can turn a potentially wonderful job into a nightmare. Read one person’s description of an employment situation that lacked accommodations. Notice the tone of the message. Now read another person’s description of an employment situation that provided accommodation. Notice the tone of that message. Which person would you rather have working for you?

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