New hearing technologies have made it easier for those with hearing loss to be able to work in a typical environment. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against qualified employees with disabilities. Nonetheless, those with hearing loss do have some unique challenges when applying for a job. We hope these tips will help you navigate your job hunt more successfully.
First and foremost, whether you have hearing loss or not, you should make sure that the job is a good fit for your skillset. You’ll need to be able to perform the essential duties in the job description.
After you’ve found a position that’s a good fit, it’s time to fill out an application. Applications are not allowed to ask you about disabilities like hearing loss, and you are not required to disclose that information as long as you believe you can perform the job duties.
If you get a call back for an interview, you’ll have to decide at which stage of the process you want to reveal your hearing loss. Because of the ADA, an employer is not allowed to ask you about your hearing loss, but he or she is allowed to ask you if you can perform the essential job functions with or without accommodation.
You may be forced to reveal your hearing loss right off the bat, if you need any special accommodations either for the phone interview or the in-person interview. Your hearing loss may also be immediately apparent if you wear over-the-ear hearing aids.
One good strategy is to tackle your hearing loss and any special accommodations you may need on the job right off the bat in the interview. This clears the air, and you can then move on to other topics. Inevitably, your potential employer will be wondering if you would be able to perform the job duties as well as an employee who doesn’t need additional accommodations. Your best strategy is to convince them that your experience and dedication would make you the better employee. And really, that’s not so different from anyone applying for a new position.
Doing well in the job market as a person with hearing loss is much easier if you’ve received appropriate treatment and have hearing aids designed for your particular type of hearing loss. Contact us today to schedule your next exam and a full evaluation for how we can have you hearing as well as possible!