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thodson3 (@thodson3)

Sharing the burden of hearing loss

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Aug 24, 2019 | Replies (23)

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Welcome to our world of hearing loss. You are not the only one who has faced the abject discrimination of bosses and co-workers who complain out loud about people who are hard of hearing or have hearing aids or any type of assistive listening devices. We are the targets for any company and have been for many years. Even though there are employment laws for accommodations such as the ADA, EEOC [ https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/hard-hearing-dealing-with-job-discrimination.htm https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/qa_deafness.cfm ] that protect us from this discrimination, many companies claim that its YOUR responsibility to accommodate them but that is not entirely true. If they have known all along that you are hard of hearing, and have provided you with some accommodations such as telephone help, someone to take notes for you, captioning, a quiet place for your to work, then they can not harass you. The only way they can claim that they can't help you is if what you ask of them is too expensive for them to provide for you such as a hearing loop installed in your cube. Having to replace your hearing aids which in and of itself impossible to do because of cost – is impractical and not appropriate. The first step you should do is contact your HR dept and file a grievance with them for this type of dispute. If you are not able to hear well enough, then you might consider calling in for a referral to your states Dept of Vocational Rehab to see if they can help you with this grievance and harassment. https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/communities/employees/ Do not attempt to do this on your own. Call in the reinforcement because they will take every opportunity to call you inept and eventually get rid of you. That is what many different companies did with me even though I wasn't inept and I had education up to the …you know where. 5 different degrees and then some. Eloise

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Replies to "Welcome to our world of hearing loss. You are not the only one who has faced..."

Thanks for your response Eloise! I have already pursued your recommendations! I am in an even more tricky situation because I am a contractor in a worksite. The manager who made these comments (and had said them numerous times) is a manager that my company is working for, but he is employed by the parent company. My HR director gave me a very useful tip which seems like it might work. She told me to say "not funny" whenever he says something like this, but to say it using a bland facial expression and while using a neutral tone of voice. I think this might help. I guess the whole thing has just got me thinking. He actually has some communication issues himself. He is a mumbler and does not annunciate words clearly. Despite my asking him to face me when speaking to me so I can read his lips, he cannot remember to do so after 11 years of working together. I guess I wonder why he assumes the communication barrier is my problem and not his. Have you ever experienced a workplace situation where a co-worker assumes responsibility for their role in the communication process? Am I just having idealistic thoughts? Thanks again! Nice to meet you! Tara

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