How to Handle Hearing Loss in the Workplace

It was my first meeting with the new CEO of a large retail company and he was clearly under the weather. His eyes were watery, he was coughing and his voice was weaker than usual. “I’ll sit across the table from you,” he said, “so I don’t get you sick.” This was a thoughtful gesture, but as I sized up the large conference table now lying between us, I worried I wouldn’t be able to hear him. As he began to answer my first question, my fears were realized — I couldn’t understand a word he said.

I hadn’t yet begun to disclose my hearing loss to people, preferring to fake it when I couldn’t hear, rather than reveal what I still considered my shameful secret. How was I going to handle this critical meeting?

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Are Movie Theater Caption Readers Properly Maintained?

Since discovering caption readers at the movies a couple of years ago, I have firmly embraced heading to the movie theater to take in a film now and again. And with most movie theaters in my area now offering some type of captioning device, I can choose the movie based on where and when I want to see it, not where and when the accessibility options are offered. This is a treat, and one that I have come to expect.

But recently, things are feeling less secure. In each of the last four times I went to the movies, there has been an issue with the captioning. It makes me wonder if the devices are being properly maintained.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Hearing Loss: Thank You For Using The Microphone

My latest article for Hearing Tracker discusses the reasons to use a microphone in all meetings. Do you agree? 

We gathered in a medium-sized classroom for the wrap-up session of my two-day board meeting at my alma mater. Most sessions were in larger spaces, with presenters using a lectern at the front of a well-miked room. The event organizers always saved me a seat at the front with good sight-lines to the speakers so I could lipread as needed. I really appreciated their assistance and was able to hear almost everything. Given the high level of concentration needed, my hearing loss exhaustion usually kicked in by the end of the day, but it was worth it.

The wrap-up session was different — more casual, smaller, and in a different type of space — a classroom rather than a typical lecture hall. The leaders used a microphone, but a second mic was not provided for questions or comments from the audience. This made it much harder to follow the discussion.

Even strong leaders overlook top-notch communication in certain settings. That is why it is critical to educate people about the importance of using a microphone for all meetings, even when the gathering seems too small or too casual for the formality and fuss of a mic. Inclusion should never be sacrificed for the sake of ease.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

For a captioned video and more reasons to use a microphone, continue reading on Hearing Tracker.

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What If Your Reading Glasses Also Provided Captions?

Sitting in the dimly lit restaurant, I struggled to read the menu. Lucky for me, I keep readers in my purse, which I quickly pulled out and the problem was solved. But when the waiter came to tell us about the specials, I had trouble hearing him, even though I was wearing my hearing aids and lipreading furiously.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could solve this problem just as easily — reaching into my purse for my captioning glasses — ones that would turn speech into text in real-time and with exceptional accuracy? Interestingly, a graduate student team at Cornell Tech is working on something just like this.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Don’t Get Trapped in A Hearing Aid Only Approach

Today I share the fourth article in a series I am writing for Ida Institute on person-centered care. The first article was about what person-centered care means to me — the hearing loss patient. The second article discussed why partnering with your patient is so important. The third article described how to make your audiologist office hearing loss friendly. This fourth article talks about how important creativity is to successfully implementing person-centered care. I look forward to sharing the final article with you soon. 

Below find an excerpt from the fourth article. To read the full article, click here

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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