Searching for a new job is stressful and having a hearing loss can add an extra element of anxiety. Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act should prevent you from experiencing discrimination there are still some situations that require extra attention on your part. Follow these tips for job hunting with hearing aids:
Get in for a tune up.
When you start job hunting with hearing aids, make sure to schedule an appointment to see your hearing instrument specialist. Have them clean and check your hearing aid to ensure it is in good working order. Then you don’t have to worry about hearing clearly when all the human resources people start contacting you for interviews.
Don’t disclose your hearing loss.
There is no reason to mention your hearing loss in your resume or cover letter. You are not required by law to inform an employer of your hearing loss during the hiring process.
Prepare for phone interviews.
Telephones and hearing aids don’t always get along. When you’re with your hearing specialist for a tune up make sure the setting you use for the telephone is working well. If you have a caption phone or similar product, make some test calls before the interview. If you are concerned you just won’t be able to hear properly you could explain your difficulties to the prospective interviewer and request a video conference interview or in-person interview instead.
Wear your hearing aids to the in-person interview.
Don’t be embarrassed about wearing your hearing aids to the interview. They will be key to making sure you hear and properly respond to all the questions. At this point, if you feel like your hearing loss might require some accommodations on the job, like a caption phone, it is okay to bring it up. Similarly, if you feel like talking about your hearing loss will dispel any misconceptions the interviewer may have, it is okay to talk about it. Try to keep it positive and talk about how you overcome obstacles. However, if you don’t feel like your hearing loss will affect your work, you don’t need to mention it. In fact, an employer cannot legally ask you about your hearing loss under the ADA.
The good news is numerous studies have found that by treating your hearing loss with hearing aids you’ve reduced your risk of income loss by 90 to 100%. Those with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in annual salary according to the Better Hearing Institute. Lucky for you all you have to do now is land the job, good luck!!