How to Approach Your First Day of a New Job if You Have Impaired Hearing
The anticipation of
starting a new job can be both exciting and stressful. For someone with a
hearing impairment, starting a new job can pose specific worries and
challenges. Despite the challenges and obstacles of searching for suitable jobs for mildly disabled people, you’ve been
hired, and your first day can be successful. Below are some tips that can help
people with a hearing impairment successfully navigate the workplace
Speak Up for Yourself
One of the most important things you can do is be vocal about your individual needs. As with anyone starting a new job, you know best what your strengths and weaknesses are. Using positive, straightforward, and friendly explanations about your needs can start your first day off in the right direction. Be clear and specific about how you communicate best and let others know what they can do to help you.
Know Your Rights
Always remember that as a person with a hearing impairment, your rights to workplace accommodations are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA ensures, with some exceptions, that employees with disabilities will be provided reasonable accommodations within the workplace to allow them to do their jobs. If you require any special accommodations, such as an interpreter, a quiet workspace, preferential seating in meetings, phone amplifiers, or other assistive technology, make sure to speak to your boss if you haven’t already done so before your first day. Most employers will be happy to assist in ensuring you have what you need to do your job and will welcome your input.
Navigate Meetings Successfully
Meetings can be especially challenging for someone with a hearing impairment, and this is another time when it’s essential to speak up and let others know what works best for you. For example, if you read lips, let others know it’s very helpful if they’re facing you when they speak so you don’t miss what they’re saying. If you hear better out of one hear or use any type of microphone to augment your hearing, ask for a position in the room or at the table that allows you to hear better.
Be Kind to Yourself
Starting a new job is stressful for anyone, and having the additional challenge of navigating a new workplace with a hearing impairment can be even more so. Remind yourself that there may be ups and downs on the first day, but don’t get discouraged. It may take time for your coworkers to learn and remember what you’ve taught them about your unique hearing style, but most of them will want to learn so you can work together successfully.
Whether you live with a hearing impairment or some other type of disability, don’t let it stop you from finding work and having a successful start to your new job. There are many jobs for individuals with disabilities available, and you can start by looking at the listings provided by disABLEDperson, Inc. You can also post your resume and sign up to have job listings sent to you every day. Please call 760-420-1269 if you have any questions.