May 28, 2020

Let’s Talk: Work Place Communication And Hearing Loss

For the last couple of months, we’ve all had to learn different ways to communicate while we work, live, and learn remotely. Whether you have hearing loss or work with someone who does, check out these best practices for effective communication.

In The Classroom

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, educators have had to come up with electronic methods to interact with their students. If you utilize a video conference application like Zoom or Google meet, try these tips before you start class:

  • Test the audio, video, lighting, and screen sharing to troubleshoot and familiarize yourself.
  • Send out your presentation in advance so students with hearing loss can acquaint themselves with the material. It’s also good for all students to have if they lose internet connection during class.
  • Share your screen and narrate each page for easy-to-follow discussion.
  • Use chat applications to field questions, problems, and discussions.

If you’re an educator with hearing loss, keeping up with your class can be just as tricky. Noisy elementary children and demanding discussions with adult students mean you need your devices to work with your environment.Use assistive listening devices, mics, or wire loops to enhance speech for you and your students so you won’t have to fight to hear and be heard. Meet with your union rep or administration to talk about your options, like reducing class sizes.

At The Office

Meetings, conference calls, and casual conversation can feel especially tiring for those with hearing loss. Frustration can lead to a lack of productivity. Don’t let your hearing loss come between you and your work.Discuss your hearing loss with your employer and coworkers. You’ll benefit from the support of your supervisors when they can accommodate your hearing needs. Better communication means you can get your work done with ease and efficiency.And for those individuals who work with someone hard of hearing:

  • Get their attention before you speak and face them during your conversation.
  • Make sure they can see your mouth if they need to read lips.
  • Avoid talking in noisy environments.
  • Let one person speak at a time.

Working Remotely

Like education, working from home means you will likely utilize video conferencing applications. Give yourself time to get used to the video application and check for closed captions. You may also want to sync Bluetooth hearing aids to your device.Find a location with lighting in front of your device, so you don’t mask your face. Wait to speak until others are done speaking to avoid confusion and repetition. Keep your hands away from your mouth and politely ask others to do the same.Visit Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte to learn more about our hearing aids and Better Communication Classes. Call 704-412-7975 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.