Everyone faces challenges, but those who are Deaf or hard of hearing have unique communication problems. Whether this is at work, with family, or friends, social interactions can be difficult, leading to frustration, stress, and feeling detached.
For Deaf people to feel totally accepted and be themselves, it’s imperative that others understand these challenges and learn how to communicate with them. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that employers can help employees who are Deaf perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
That means more than just discussing different assistive technologies or ways to communicate with those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. It’s about being sensitive to the needs of someone who is Deaf, being a better communicator, and providing all of the necessary services.
This can mean providing interpreters and sound amplification systems, visual aids, and Virtual Remote Interpreting (VRI).
It’s also about how you communicate with someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing:
- Face the person and speak directly and normally to them
- If an employee is using an interpreter, speak to the employee, not the interpreter
Include the person who is Deaf or hard of hearing in group conversations. If necessary, repeat comments or statements and make the person feel welcome.
If your business needs help accommodating the unique needs of an employee that is Deaf or hard of hearing, book an appointment to talk to one of the sensitivity and accommodation training consultants at Deaf & Hear Alberta (DHA).
Our knowledgeable consultants will conduct an on-site assessment and provide you with a report with recommendations that will help someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing excel at their job.
DHA also offers workplace sensitivity and accommodation seminars, tailored to the unique needs of your business. We provide both training and education for your employees on everything from hearing health, accessible meetings, and communication strategies.