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      Supporting employees with hearing loss

      Given the right support, people who are deaf or have hearing loss can thrive in the workplace. 

      Recent shifts in technology have made everyday work activities such as making a telephone call or participating in team meetings more accessible to people with hearing loss than ever before. Communication professionals – such as sign language interpreters and speech-to-text reporters – continue to remove communication barriers.

      The government's Access to Work scheme means that employers need not fear the price tag of offering support. Plus, many adjustments are free to implement, whether it’s facing colleagues with hearing loss, or positioning a desk differently to reduce the level of background noise

      In this section, we suggest processes for encouraging staff to be open about their needs, and give tips on how to have a conversation with an employee’s hearing loss – a skill which will be increasingly important as the prevalence of hearing loss in the workplace grows as the retirement age increases.


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      Working for Change

      We're campaigning to change attitudes to hearing loss in the workplace, so that the millions of employees affected are supported to reach their full potential.

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      A thorough induction process is particularly important for employees who are deaf or have hearing loss. It’s the ideal opportunity for practices to be set up to support someone, so they're embedded in the employee’s and team's ways of doing things.

      Jennifer at work

      Hearing loss is often a non-visible disability. Many people feel there is a stigma around the condition and hide it from their employer, so it's vital to create an environment in which employees feel comfortable to be open about their disability.

      Making adjustments to someone's working environment is the right thing to do. It will mean your employee can better do their job to the best of their ability.

      An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support to help people who have a disability or long-term health condition start or stay in work. Here’s how it can help you hire and retain employees who are deaf or have hearing loss.

      Health and safety requirements for members of staff with hearing loss are essentially the same as for everyone else, but they may need additional support, such as a vibrating fire-alarm pager.

      Good communication skills among colleagues are so important for people with hearing loss and can be just as important as the provision of equipment or communication support.

      disability confident leader logo

      Disability Confident is a government scheme that supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.