With modern day working environments and open plan offices with large conference/meeting rooms or busy reception areas the noise levels can be high. This can make hearing difficult if you have a hearing impairment.
By law, hard of hearing people have a right to “reasonable adjustments” being made in the workplace so that they are not at a “substantial disadvantage” compared to non-disabled staff or visitors.
The costs of these “reasonable adjustments” are usually met by the employer but there are government grants available (ATW), in proportion to the size of the employer. The larger the employer the higher the percentage of the costs they are expected to cover.
So if a hearing impaired employee:
- Struggles to follow what is said at meetings
- Often asks colleagues to repeat what they have said
- Often misunderstands what is being said
- Finds it hard to understand speech over the telephone
- Avoids socialising with colleagues
- Often gets confused about which direction sound is coming from
- Seems to withdraw into themselves
Then there is a duty of care on the employer to make “reasonable adjustments” to the working environment so that the hard of hearing are not discriminated against.
There are many solutions available for these problems; installing a hearing loop, using assistive hearing devices with multiple microphones or using a portable soundfield system. Each will have its advantages and disadvantages depending upon the location they are used in.
We can advise the optimum set-up for your requirements – and where possible – loan equipment to you to try.
Please give us a call and find out how we can help you.