Dealing with hearing loss can make even simple, everyday tasks a chore. Even if you’re working with an audiologist, you still have to navigate your daily existence. While you can make accommodations for your hearing loss at home, the workplace is another story.
Though the United States EEOC prohibits discrimination against disabilities and impairments such as tinnitus and hearing loss, securing proper accommodations is a different battle. If you’re ready to make some changes in the workplace, here’s what you need to know to be prepared.
Know which accommodations to request.
Per continental U.S. law, an employee is allowed to request certain accommodations both during the interview stage and after employment has commenced. In some cases, businesses have a limited time to make changes. You should also understand that there’s a reasonable expectation that your employers respect your medical privacy. For example, if you’re receiving tinnitus treatment from the audiologists at the Sound Relief Hearing Center, your boss doesn’t need to be apprised of how your tinnitus is progressing, the status of your hearing tests, or even the cash value of your sessions.
You should also note whether or not you’ve experienced any discrimination. For example, if you wear Sound Relief hearing aids, your coworkers shouldn’t point out or comment on said hearing aids in a negative way during or after business days. This can help you navigate discussions with HR and your higher-ups when you request accommodations. Asking for a reasonable amount of time to complete tasks that rely on audiology, for example, is something you should consider requesting. If your impairment doesn’t impact your time use for a given task, you may not need to mention it.
Come prepared for the discussion.
When you’re requesting accommodations, you want to make sure you’re doing so professionally. Dress your best and bring along any necessary materials. If you’re not sure how to dress, you can visit U.S. boutiques like Chico’s outlets to find some final sale items for an additional discount. Chico’s outlets are excellent off-the-rack stores that sell merchandise like Chico’s skirts with solid price adjustments. They also offer an SMS program for additional merchandise discounts. It’s a one-time text to your mobile device, though these SMS marketing campaigns are optional. Even if you do opt-in, simply reply stop to any message to cancel. Once you’ve decided on the proper attire, it’s time to compile any necessary information.
Remember that you don’t have to offer up any personal information. It’s a consent process and you should only disclose what you wish. While pre-existing conditions like tinnitus and other hearing disabilities can impact healthcare enrollment at your place of employment, they shouldn’t impact your job security. Come with a list of requested adjustments that can aid your hearing loss, tinnitus, or other impairment. Provide complete details of why the adjustments would improve your workflow. Whether you need text help for better hearing or reasonable time off to visit an audiology center like the Sound Relief Hearing Center, detail how you’ll pivot and handle your work accordingly. Some individuals choose to focus on select styles and workflows for their business days. Others keep their notes fairly straightforward.
If you’re one of several new enrollees in your company’s health program, you can even see if there is compensation to keep you from paying full price for hearing services. Alternatively, there may be refund or rebate programs for treatments, depending on the condition of purchase.
Focus on success.
Juggling work, tinnitus and tinnitus retraining therapy, and your personal life is a tricky balancing act. When you’re working on setting up a corporate SMS program and comparing the complete details of data rates, you don’t always have the time to worry about your impairment. By requesting proper accommodation, your quality of life in the workplace is sure to improve.