Hard Of Hearing: Employment

Getting a job in these tough economic times is hard as it is with cutbacks, redundancies and budget slashes across all industries…so what about if you have a hearing impairment too?

Experts warn that getting a job when a person is a difficult task, as employers ‘discriminate against the hard of hearing.’

One professional has gone as far as saying that Brits who suffer hearing difficulties also suffer discrimination when it comes to finding jobs and that they struggle once they find a post.

GP and medical broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones said that potential bosses and managers may be put off if a candidate is wearing a hearing aid.

He said: “There is no doubt that people who are having hearing problems not only find relationships more difficult, but [when] finding work, they are discriminated against unfairly, particularly if they are very deaf.”

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) ensures that employers are legally responsible for preventing discrimination in the workplace; and state that it is unlawful to discriminate against disabled people. The DDA also says employers have to take reasonable steps to make sure that disabled people are not at a disadvantage when trying to do their job.

In 2006, a UK-wide survey carried out by The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) revealed that only 63% of deaf people were in employment, compared with 81% of the national workforce.

70% of those studied said that their deafness had directly prevented them from getting a job, and 25% said that employers had made an issue of their deafness at the interview stage.

Furthermore, more than half of those in work felt they had been held back from promotion or developing their careers as a result of their deafness.

Have you found it difficult to get work simply because you wear a hearing aid; whether it is a widex clear, unitron passport or more? Let HearingAid.org.uk know and tell us your personal experiences.

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