The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed many of our daily lives. For some, that included losing a job or finding courage to switch career paths. For the hearing impaired community, the job search sometimes has an added layer of difficulty. Fortunately, there are ways you can put yourself on the right path while job hunting with hearing loss.
First, it’s important see an audiologist to get a proper diagnosis for your hearing loss. Understanding your personal type of hearing loss and its severity will help you weed out jobs that may not be a good fit for you. For example, if you have high-frequency hearing loss, it may be harder for you to work in a customer-facing position because this type of hearing loss makes understanding speech and hearing voices more difficult. However, if you prefer to work in this type of position do not let your hearing loss discourage you. Instead, inform your audiologist of the type of work you do or prefer, so that they can help you choose the best hearing aid for you.
Next, be aware of job duties and work environments that may worsen your hearing loss. For example, jobs like construction work or airline ground positions expose you to constant, high volumes of noise. This can contribute to occupational hearing loss; According to the CDC, about 24% of hearing issues among U.S. workers are caused by occupational exposures. If you work in a position that may damage your hearing further, be sure to take necessary steps to protect your hearing such as wearing earplugs.
Lastly, familiarize yourself with federal laws and entities that protect you as someone who has been diagnosed with hearing loss. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ensure employers make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and help fight discrimination against job applicants with disabilities. Being upfront about your hearing loss with employers or potential employers will help ensure these laws protect you. Additionally, being open with your employer and coworkers about your hearing loss will help them learn the best ways to communicate and work with you.
When job hunting, do not let your hearing loss discourage or deter you. Remember that proper hearing loss treatment can improve your work performance and your overall quality of life. If you have questions about hearing loss, feel free to contact our team of experts at New Generation Hearing Centers.