Positive Reasons to Employ Someone with Hearing Loss

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One in six people in the UK has some form of hearing loss. This will, in time, rise as retirement age increases and the arrival of the new generation of music-associated hearing loss. Ultimately the number of people with hearing loss in the workplace will rise with it.

Another unfortunate realisation is that most people with hearing loss choose not to disclose this to their employer – due to risk of discrimination. Despite the decrease in stigmas, exclusive issues and a better understanding of hearing loss – misconception and discrimination still exists today. The main concerns being that candidates are consistently being disregarded for roles when their hearing loss is discovered.

What is yet to be widely educated is that people with hearing loss are working and studying in every field available. They prove to be invaluable assets wherever they are employed and hugely accountable for businesses success. Here we discuss some of the many benefits of employing someone with hearing loss, which we believe define great attributes in an employee.

two men sign language

Being Able to Adapt

People who are hard of hearing have constantly been required to tackle challenges every day, manage stress levels and adapt to their surroundings and soundscapes. They transfer these skills to the workplace by having impeccable patience and flexibility. Resulting in a high standard of endurance and a determination that will allow them to deal with many obstacles they are faced.

They have a great understanding of the adaptations needed and take a proactive approach to adjust accordingly. This type of thinking and adaptability often leads to openminded and creative thinking. Having to regularly break communication and cultural barriers ensures unique solutions to business problems are made.

Remaining Focused

Another advantage would be the boundless focus they bring to the table, as their levels of concentration are high. Having a hearing loss comes with the struggles of making sense of sound and speech every day. To hear sound, you ultimately have to rely on more than just your ears. Your brain plays a huge part in the processing of sound and how you deal with it.

People with hearing loss organically learn to fine-tune their brain’s ability to focus on noise and speech – helping them to hear better and to maintain concentration in the workplace.

writing down ideas at work
brain neurons

Bring a Different Perspective

They have a unique approach to projects, especially when it is in aid of serving others. Due to their perspective being based on their life experiences – the company gains from a more inclusive interpretation. You will generally find that they suggest marketing ideas, services and features that other employees might not have thought of.

It adds a certain spark of diversity to the workforce and helps pave the way to developing the culture of the company. Positively inspiring people to think outside the box by seeing things from a different viewpoint and communicating on a deeper and more inclusive level.

brainstorming in meeting
light bulb ideas board

So, What Support is Available?

Like with everything in life, what we don’t understand we either avoid or fear. Additionally – like with most things – a little research is beneficial. This way you and your workforce can develop a better understanding of hearing loss and start to bridge the gap.

Dedicating time to find an education on the subject will enable you to relate, empathise and, rather simply, ‘get it’. If after you have evaluated the needs of the employee and their hearing loss you may find that extra equipment is needed.

In this circumstance, the government might be able to support you with this** However, the main message here is that someone’s hearing loss should never be a reason why they fail to be employed or supported in their career path.

** Visit the gov.uk website for more information.

Our Thanks to Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert and Founder of Hearing Aid UK for writing this article.

This article was originally published by Paul Harrison
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