Accessibility Advocacy ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) Assistive Listening Device Captioning CART (live captioning) Employment Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss State Agencies Workplace

Hearing Loss at Work

Requesting accommodations for hearing loss at work can be daunting. This blog post will give you some guidance.

Accessibility Advocacy ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) Captioning CART (live captioning) Employment Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss

Requesting CART

Michele: Requesting CART is something that the Hard of Hearing (HoH) do NOT do routinely. Partly due to a large percentage of HoH having no idea that CART exists as a reasonable accommodation, as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Most of us learned about CART by chance research, through our hearing loss peers, or from attending a live event where it was provided. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we got this valuable communication access information at the time we are diagnosed with hearing loss?

My first visit to my state’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services agency in 2006 didn’t include any information about CART. Some state agencies fail to focus on CART to the same degree as ASL Interpretation for communication access. That helps perpetuate the myth that all people with hearing loss know sign language. In reality, over 95% of people with disabling hearing loss need captioning in their spoken language, and that is CART for live events.

Accessibility Captioning CART (live captioning) Employment Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss and Interviews

Do we disclose our hearing loss for interviews? Maybe we disclose it after? Do we wait until we are offered the job? That depends. It varies person to person. In the end, you have to go with what feels right to you. Here are some of our thoughts on disclosing hearing loss.

Go in knowledgeable about your hearing loss.

Chelle: In 2012, I attended my first Hearing Loss Association of American (HLAA) convention. A workshop I attended was called Landing That Job by Malik El-Amin. His message was to be in control of hearing loss, don’t let it control us. He shared his interview experience with us. How they questioned his cochlear implant and he gave them answers. He was knowledgeable about his technology, accommodations, and communication needs. 

That was a new concept! At the time my hearing loss controlled my life. It took me two or so years to better understand. I learned proper self advocacy, and more about technology and accommodations. There was no big aha moment. It was a slow realization that I was now in control of my hearing loss.