People working remotely with hearing loss can face certain challenges that may make working remotely challenging. Although people living with hearing loss work in all kinds of industries and do so successfully, there are certain areas where the hearing impaired can use assistance to make their working environment more successful.
Hearing loss is less of an overall disability and more of a way of life and challenge for those living with hearing loss. People with hearing loss in the workplace have come a very long way, especially with help from technology. From navigating daily business and conversations, to understanding and participating in meetings that are fast paced, the hearing impaired have many helpful resources thanks to technology.
People with hearing loss in the working world are everywhere, weather you realize it or not. With approximately 432 million adults worldwide living with hearing loss, the odds are you already work with someone who has hearing loss. In fact, It is estimated that by 2050, more than 900 million people will have a disabling hearing loss.
Creating A Work Atmosphere to Include the Hearing Impaired
According to the Disabled World Organization and the World Health Organization, “People who are severely hard of hearing rely a lot on lip-reading, even with a hearing aid. Profoundly deaf people can also use sign language to communicate. Hard of hearing persons with partial loss of hearing may find that the quality of their hearing varies from day-to-day, or from one situation to another or not at all. They may also, to a greater or lesser extent, need to depend on both hearing-aids and lip-reading.” Working remotely with hearing loss puts technology to the test. Using closed captioning can be a huge help during team virtual meetings. Technology supports a global ability to be productive even during social isolation and quarantine.
Employers who do not specifically consider the needs of those living with hearing loss set their business up to miss out on the full range of talents of people living with hearing loss, which is an ever-growing population. The fact is, many famous people throughout history who have contributed to our society are people have hearing loss, such as Bill Clinton, Thomas Edison, Stephen Colbert, Sting, Pete Townshend, Jodi Foster, Halle Berry, Holly Hunter and so many more!
Meeting Tips for Working Remotely with Hearing Loss
In short, the solution for helping people working remotely with hearing loss function better is to make a collective effort to foster a true culture of awareness. The following are tips for helping people working remotely with hearing loss function better:
- Use video conferencing platforms that provide instant or live closed captioning, ensuring that meetings are created ahead of time with this feature enabled.
- Clearly establish that one person is speaking at a time.
- Reach out to anyone who hasn’t had a chance to participate.
- Assign a facilitator to ensure meetings stay focused and on track.
- Use video to engage meeting participants and encourage people to look into the camera when speaking.
- Send meeting follow-ups with a written summary of key points and action items discussed in the meeting, as well as decisions that were made.