Deaf Awareness Week 2024

Katie Howard 2017

Katie Howard
Consultant, Assurity Consulting
7th May 2024

It is important that the workplace provides an inclusive environment for all individuals, as many people experiencing hearing loss do not disclose this to their employer. This could be for several reasons; they may feel like it will not be acknowledged, supported, they’ll be treated differently or be given less opportunities for career development.   

Raising awareness of hearing loss in the workplace is so important as individuals may be wrongly interpreted. It is likely that they will not be ignoring you, they just can’t hear you! People with hearing loss are often very self-conscious of how they present themselves, and may unknowingly speak more quietly or loudly than usual, dependent upon the acoustics in the surrounding environment. This can often be misinterpreted as their personality trait, being a quiet individual or being very loud.

Is your workplace equipped with aids such as induction loops, visual adaptations to the fire alarm and display screens within lifts, as well as clear and well-contrasted signage to aid independent navigation? These adjustments will benefit all potential workplace users, as well as have a positive impact for those with hearing impairments.

Everyone’s experience of hearing loss is different, and should an employee disclose their hearing impairment to you, this is a great opportunity to work together with them to provide reasonable adjustments to cater for to their specific requirements. The best way to understand how to support someone is by communicating by their preferred means and taking direction from them. 

Our access team at Assurity Consulting are fully competent in assessing buildings for their accessibility and inclusivity for a wide range of user needs, including those with hearing impairments. If you require further assistance in making your workplace more accessible for all potential users, please contact us and we will be more than happy to carry out an Access Audit, provide Disability and Equality Awareness training, or provide any further support you require.