Accommodations for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Employees

Approximately 48 million  Americans, nearly 15%  of the population, have some level of hearing loss. About 11 million of those individuals consider themselves deaf. With deafness being such a common disability, organizations need to be proactive in integrating workplace tools that allow deaf and hard-of-hearing employees to be fully included and set up for success in their roles. Here are four ways employers can develop deaf-inclusive workplaces.

Speech-to-Text Services

Spoken communication is the most common way of communicating in an office setting. Without appropriate accommodations, deaf and hard-of-hearing employees are at a disadvantage in receiving the same type and volume of information about their work as their colleagues. Speech-to-text services  (STTS) allow for real-time dictation of verbal communication into a written form discernable to deaf employees. Closed captions can be implemented in meetings, phone calls and training videos.

STTS can also process other audible information into a visual format. They may provide a text notification when someone knocks on an office door or when a phone rings. Implementing STTS across a range of functions ensures deaf and hard-of-hearing employees can communicate effectively with colleagues and that they don’t miss crucial information that’s typically delivered in non-visual formats.

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