New year, new you. There are 48 million people in Los Angeles and throughout the country with hearing loss; 65 percent of those individuals are under the age of 65. That’s a lot of people with hearing loss still working. If you are one of these people, now is the time to finally talk to your boss about your hearing loss.
While admitting you have a disability used to be a career ending declaration, this is not true anymore. In fact, hearing loss is becoming a much less taboo topic and is often openly discussed. Hearing aids are getting more and more discreet, so it is easy to overlook that someone is even wearing one.
While hearing aids have come a long way, they are still not perfect. That means you may still miss a comment in a meeting or not catch that last response from a coworker before walking away. Since this could begin to impact your ability to do your job, it is important that you are managing your hearing loss while at work.
Does Your Boss Need to Know About Your Hearing Loss?
Short answer – yes. While you may be tempted to assume you are managing your hearing loss so well that no one has noticed, your Los Angeles audiologist still recommends you disclose this information. Being truthful with your coworkers gives you the ability to advocate for yourself. It also helps open up a dialogue, which allows you to help your coworkers understand your communication needs.
Letting others know what you need from them is important and often very simple. Asking to be Included on the email with the minutes from the last meeting gives you the chance to review and confirm if you missed anything. You can request that instead of handing out the agenda at the start of the meeting it could be sent out before. This way you are able to better prepare. These steps will never be taken if you don’t ask for them.
While your Los Angeles audiologist advocates for honesty, it is also important to trust your instincts. If you feel that being honest about your hearing loss could put your job at risk, then there are larger issues. Employers are legally required to make reasonable accommodations for those with hearing loss.
Timing is Also Important
If you have hearing loss but have not yet found a suitable solution, make sure you are paying attention to how things are going at work. When telling your manager about your hearing loss, you should also be prepared to present a solution. This might involve trying out the use of a hearing aid or even implementing a series of tips you think will help you communicate better.
While being honest about your hearing loss at work may be unnerving, there are a number of positives that can come out of the conversations as well.
To learn more, contact your Los Angeles audiologist today.