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      Charity urges employers to become hearing loss confident

      24 January 2017

      Charity Action on Hearing Loss is encouraging businesses to take advantage of its Work Based Assessment service following the launch of its new report Working for Change

      The report found that almost one in three businesses would not feel confident employing someone with hearing loss.

      James Rowe, Executive Director of Commercial Services, said: “Our Working for Change report has found that employers and businesses are woefully unprepared for employing people with hearing loss, with an endemic lack of awareness of help and support available. This lack of awareness is making some fearful of employing people with hearing loss in case they do something wrong and risk breaching the Equality Act (or Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland).”

      The YouGov poll conducted for the charity also found that over half of respondents (57%) say there is a lack of support or advice available for organisations when recruiting someone with hearing loss.

      James continued: “That almost two-thirds of business leaders had never heard of the Government’s publicly funded Access to Work scheme is a real concern. We want to help businesses make the necessary adaptions to ensure that not only are they compliant with the Equality Act, but are benefiting from the huge value employees with hearing loss can offer.

      “With 11 million people living in the UK with hearing loss – a number set to rise to 15.6 million by 2035 – it makes good business sense for employers to  become as inclusive as possible.”

      The charity encourages businesses to take advantage of its Work Based Assessment service, where a consultant will come and offer practical advice on what equipment, support and reasonable adjustments can be made to support staff following a short assessment. All recommendations are put into a detailed report, which can be used to support an Access to Work application.

      As well as its Work Based Assessment Service, Action on Hearing Loss offers a number of other means by which businesses can help support employees. These include a recently launched ‘Get Deaf Aware’ web training and more bespoke in-house training. 

      To read Action on Hearing Loss’ Working for Change report and to download the accompanying myth-busting guide for employers, please visit: https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/workingchangereport.aspx

      For more information about Action on Hearing Loss’ Work Based Assessment, please visit: Work based assessments.

      For more information on the ‘Get Deaf Aware’ online course, please visit: Online Deaf Awareness Training.

      ENDS

      For media enquiries contact

      Action on Hearing Loss PR Officer Jess Reid on jess.reid@hearingloss.org.uk  or 0203 227 6065.

      Notes to Editors

      • Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the national charity helping people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose.  Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for  equality.
      • The International Longevity Centre UK estimated that in 2013 the UK economy lost £24.billion in potential economic output because too many people with hearing loss are unable to work. If nothing is done to address lower employment rates for those with hearing loss, by 2031 the UK economy will lose £38.6bn per year in potential economic output.