Unlimited potential?: a research report into hearing loss in the workplace

Action on Hearing Loss
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This report is about the problems people face when they develop hearing loss at work. Of the 10 million people in the UK with hearing loss, around 3.7 million are of working age. The study explored the experiences of 27 people who lost their hearing while of working age. Through in-depth interviews the study looked at what support they received from their employers and other sources, as well as the gaps in service provision. In addition, the 2010 annual survey of members of Action on Hearing Loss, which received over 4,000 responses, was used to question members about employment experiences. The research uncovered examples of people being forced to resign, retire, or take redundancy, just because simple adjustments to accommodate their hearing loss were not made. The findings are discussed under the themes: organisation culture including managers’ attitudes; work environment; adjustments and support; and changing jobs and retirement. This research highlights the need for a variety of solutions to be considered to ensure people with hearing loss are effectively supported in the workplace. Relatively easy adjustments and support can be made which will enable a person with hearing loss to continue to work effectively are proposed.

Subject terms:
institutional discrimination, managers, organisational culture, user views, deafness, employment, hearing impairment;
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