The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals with hearing loss. There are certainly challenges associated with hearing loss, but the ADA makes sure employers, landlords and the owners of public venues do their best to accommodate those with hearing issues. At Custom Hearing Solutions we help individuals who have hearing loss, but we also have assisted hearing devices that employers can use to make sure they are helping their employees who may have hearing issues.
Perspective employers can’t ask if you have a hearing disability at an employment interview because medical conditions are private. They can ask about hearing issues if there are certain duties that need to be performed at a job site and hearing might be an issue. For example, you need to hear a tone that means you have to raise a garage door at a service station.
If you are working at a telemarketing company and you all have the same headsets at the same volume, you may not be able to perform that job.
Perhaps you are applying for a warehouse job and because of the noise all of the employees wear safety headphones. But you have to also be able to hear enough through the headphones to know if there is a skid loader or forklift headed your way. That would be a work issue.
Custom Hearing Solutions can help employees with hearing devices to overcome many of these obstacles. Answers to questions concerning employee and employer rights regarding employment questions can be found here - https://home/412501.cloudwaysapps.com/qhsvzhdzvp/public_html.eeoc.gov/
Accommodations can be made
Let’s suppose you are employed and you are experiencing hearing loss. There are reasonable ways an employer can accommodate a variety of issues.
If you work at a service station and must raise the garage door when an alarm sounds, and you don’t always hear it – there are strobe light attachments, so a light will flash when the alarm goes off alerting employees to open the door. That’s a reasonable accommodation.
A telemarketer can use headsets with enhanced volume controls or even higher volume for one ear. A different headset, as long as it can interface with the rest of the working headsets, is a reasonable accommodation.
If you work in a warehouse and use safety headphones but still must hear if equipment is coming, there are wristlets that vibrate and equipment to set off the vibration can be put on the forklift or skid loader.
But remember, “reasonable” is subjective – the final arbitrator of “reasonable” is the ADA.
If you work in an office and there are issues talking on the phone, captioned telephones are available. There is computer software that also can be used as part of an assistive listening system.
Let’s say you must attend a conference as part of your work duties and you are afraid you won’t be able to hear the speaker. There are small label microphones that will help with boosting the sound, or something as simple as making sure you get seated closer to the speaker can be done to accommodate you.
If you feel that your employer is not being reasonable about your hearing issues, you can learn about filing a complaint here - https://home/412501.cloudwaysapps.com/qhsvzhdzvp/public_html.ada.gov/filing_complaint.htm
Many public venues such as museums and lecture halls have accommodations for the hearing impaired. It may be headsets, so you can better understand during a tour or it might be a captioning service. It is always best to call ahead to see what accommodations might be available. Movie theatres with seating over 50 may have close captioning or rear window captioning so you can enjoy a movie. Ask a customer service representative about the accommodations they provide in accordance with ADA regulations.
Children are covered under the ADA
If you have a child with hearing loss he or she has rights under the ADA. School systems must provide reasonable accommodations, so they receive an equal education. They are also responsible if your child goes off school grounds to make sure they have an equal experience on a field trip.
At Custom Hearing Solutions we offer a full range of products that can make your job and your life better. We offer custom-fitted swim molds for you or your child if they need one, and specialized earpieces. Call us today to discuss our assistive listening devices and accessories.