Support your Deaf worker like the best employer ever!

September 11, 2018

Did you know that more than 82% of qualified disabled people are unemployed and are actively looking for a job? (according to statistics available for 2015). 

What is an even more shocking statistic is that 56% of deaf people have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to being deaf or hard of hearing:

  • 62% from colleagues

  • 53% from management

  • 37% during a job interview

     

Don't you think this is absolutely unacceptable and frankly more than a little embarrassing? 

 

Also, did you know that it was found that deaf employees are actually average or above average in performance, quality and quantity of work, flexibility and attendance?  

 

Deaf workers, where they are given the opportunity, are committed and engaged; the only thing they need is the right support, tools and encouragement to perform to their full potential and be productive in what they do.

 

However, not all employers recognize the potential benefits of hiring deaf workers.  Did you?

 

Taking into account that workers spend more time at their (our) workplace than anywhere else in a working week (we will actually spend more than 90,000 hours of our lives working!), it is essential that staff receive support so they (we) are able to do their (our) job properly.

 

It is not difficult to see that this would provide mutual benefits and enrichment within the workplace.  Employers would receive higher productivity and employees would feel valued and appreciated and they will go above and beyond for the company. Most importantly, they will be happier in their roles. 

 

 

There are plenty of different ways that employers can support deaf staff in their work environment, but they generally fall into  three main groups:

  • Physical assistive technology

  • Psychological environment

  • Training and monitoring of employees

 

 

PHYSICAL ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

 

By making use of assistive technology, apps and online tools, disabled employees will be able to carry out their job responsibilities without impediments.

The Government grant scheme "Access to Work" (AtW) can  pay for support and equipment in the workplace such as:

 

- Hearing aids

 

- Specialist products (listening equipment, flashing-light fire alarms, amplified telephones and textphones)

 

- Communication support services to help the deaf employees to communicate in meetings, take notes at work or answer the phone.

 

Ask for a workplace assessment; a specialist will visit you at work to assess what simple adjustments, equipment and support could be beneficial (LINK). 

 

 

 

TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES

 

Investing in Training and Deaf Awareness is vital.  Staff members should receive all necessary training and it’s so important that all staff know how they can support their deaf colleague(s).

 

Find out more information about the variety of Deaf Awareness courses we offer to help the workplace become inclusive of people with hearing loss.

 

 

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT

 

There are different and essential elements to develop a nice and successful workplace such as: 

  • TRUST. Trust establishes a more engaged workforce and also a higher productivity rates.

  • COMMUNICATION. Good communication develops positive and long lasting employee morale and will establish a deeper sense of loyalty to the organization.

  • WELL-BEING. Being concerned for staff well-being is not a costly endeavour! 15 minute breaks instead of 10, small incentive programs or comfortable environments in which to take breaks are all good examples!

  • RESPECT and the friendly attitude that comes from Deaf Awareness Training Sessions are the key to a successful work environment.

  • Regularly RECOGNITION/REWARD for good work is always a great thing to keep staff motivated, and a good way to know what motivates each member of the team is to have a staff suggestion box :) 

  • INTERNAL PROMOTIONS in order to motivate staff and to avoid making them feel trapped in a dead-end job.

This is fact, not fiction folks!  I think all these elements and ways to support a deaf employee are easy and completely achievable for you, and also excellent tips not only to use with a deaf worker, but with the whole company!

 

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