According to the research published by Action on Hearing Loss, a British charity, more than 50% of people living with deafness of hearing loss are afraid to be open about it in their workplace.
Third of those who felt they could not be open about their hearing loss in the workplace felt so due to the fear that they may be treated unfairly if their coworkers knew about their disability. A further 60% thought that others may assume they are incompetent, and 42% saw no reason to share details about their hearing loss as the workplace would not be able to help them.
“It seems much of the awareness raising has neglected to include invisible disabilities like deafness and hearing loss. The levels of stress and the isolation experienced by people with hearing loss at the workplace are shocking. The numbers are certainly not helped by working cultures where people are worried about talking openly about their condition and the support they might need,” said Diane Lightfoot, the Chief Executive at Business Disability Forum.
79% of the respondents in the survey indicated that they feel stressed in the workplace and 65% of the participants felt isolated due to their hearing loss. The struggles people with hearing loss face can then lead to earlier retirement and overall loss of quality of life at work. Employers can address this through a number of various tactics, starting with basic deaf and hearing loss awareness training, to acquiring various assistive hearing devices and technology, such as amplified phones.