Hearing Loss and Work: Applying for a Job and Your Rights
Applying for a job is a challenge that we all face at some point in our lives. There’s a lot involved in securing a job successfully. Whether it’s your first job, you are coming back to employment or you are changing careers or looking to progress in your chosen career, you’ll need to make sure that your application can compete and get noticed. This can be difficult when we have to deal with hearing loss or deafness as an extra obstacle. However, there are ways of ensuring you don’t miss out on jobs you are qualified for as a result of your hearing difficulties.
Know Your Rights
It is important to know your rights, to understand how employers may realistically perceive you, how to address your hearing difficulties throughout the application process and how to start on the right foot. In this series, we will be discussing all of these factors that can help lead to a happy and successful career. Here at Advanced Hearing, we hold strong beliefs that hearing loss and deafness does not have to inhibit your chances and opportunities in life. It is entirely possible to overcome the challenges associated with hearing loss and to live a high quality of life. In this post, we’ll be outlining your rights as an individual who has hearing difficulties associated with hearing loss or deafness.
You Don’t Need to Declare Your Health Issues Before a Job Offer
For the sake of equal opportunities and to protect job searchers from discrimination, you are not required by law to disclose information of your hearing loss before a job offer has been made to you. This is because the employer does not have the right to employ you based on your medical needs. For this reason, it can be a good idea to not disclose this information before a job offer is made. This does not mean that you are being deceitful or dishonest. Instead, it simply means that you are maintaining professionalism throughout the job offer.
Ensure You Are Qualified for Your Job
The only occasion when an employer has grounds to discriminate against you due to your disability is when you are not qualified for the job. If your hearing loss is likely to stop you from qualifying for the job, it may not be in your best interest to apply for this job.
Acquire a Formal Diagnosis
If you are suffering from hearing loss but have not discussed your symptoms with a doctor, it can be difficult to protect yourself from discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act can only protect individuals who have formally been diagnosed as disabled. If you believe your hearing loss may damage your prospects at work, it is important to talk to a doctor and seek a diagnosis when relevant. It’s important to be proactive in job hunting. That means ensuring your difficulties with hearing are minimized as much as possible. If you have a formal diagnosis of hearing loss or deafness, finding the right hearing aid could make a big difference to your prospects.