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Inclusion of hearing impaired

First golden rule: Be open to new learning –then relax!
If this is new to you - Remember there is a first time for everything. Over a period of time, you will get familiar with it.
Increase your awareness. Find out the needs of your employee with hearing impairment such as alternate methods of communication and use of simple language.
Set expectations. Have similar expectations and targets just like you would do for other employees.
Ensure inclusion for the employee with hearing impairment just like you should do for all. Treat each person in your team including persons with disability as individuals – with different talent, abilities and needs. When they are enabled, they can give their best.

  1. 1
    Get Started
  2. 2
    On-boarding and induction
  3. 3
    Initial days at a workplace
  4. 4
    Performance management
  5. 5
    Will hearing impaired person expect relaxation in target or expect pity or sympathy?

Step 1 - Get started

Learn more about hearing impaired to start the process of inclusion. To begin the process, put up posters for instant awareness.

Persons with Hearing Impairment at the Workplace

Use this brochure to spread awareness on hearing impairment

Order this awareness poster kit to display on your company walls

Order this awareness poster kit to display on your company walls

Step 2 - On-boarding and induction

Ensure that your employee with Hearing impairment has understood your instruction regarding the joining formalities clearly. Showing a filled sample form to your hearing impaired employee can also be helpful.

FAQ on Hearing Impairment

See this document to find answer to some of your basic queries.

Guidelines to Use Simple English

Use this guide to understand how to communicate with deaf effectively in a simplified manner.

Step 3 - Initial days at a workplace

You first need to understand the communication method or solution used by your hearing impaired or hard of hearing employee.

See this to understand the diversity among people with hearing impairment.


How do I include my hearing impaired employee in the induction process?

If your employee is hard of hearing ensures that he is seated in the first row or use a microphone. If your induction activities have audio cues, please design alternate cues. Give the hand out of important points, HR policy, transport arrangements, shifts and so on. Using simple English in your induction content will not only benefit your hearing impaired employee but others as well.

Process training

It is important that your hearing impaired employee is included in the training. Inclusion will not come naturally since the trainers may not have trained a hearing impaired before. It will require being alert.
But interestingly if the trainers are able to learn this skill they will also be able to disseminate it to all the other trainees.

How to include persons with hearing impairment during training

Use this document to include persons with hearing impairment during training

Peer sensitisation

In the initial days, the team and manager may not be aware of how to get started with the employee with Hearing impairment. It is very important to understand more about your colleague with Hearing impairment immediately. We advise having a sensitization session for everybody in the team, HR and support staff. This is not a general sensitization but a specific session to get to know your Hearing impaired colleague and each other better using the video shown below. Make sure your colleague gets time to review the video and be ready with his or her points.

Use this 25 minute video to spread awareness to the entire team. This video has sections to be paused for your colleague to present

Poster for Effective Inclusion of Employees with Hearing Impairment

This poster can be used by your colleague with Hearing impairment to spread instant awareness regarding him or herself.

Step 4 - Performance management

Are you worried that you don't have much experience in working with hearing impaired? Do you feel you do not know how to create the right environment for employees with hearing impairment? Are you worried about giving performance feedback to the person with hearing impairment? Please see the following-

How to Give Feedback to Persons with Disability

See this document on giving feedback

Step 5 - Will hearing impaired person expect relaxation in target or expect pity or sympathy?

Where-ever possible, it is always recommended to give employees with hearing impairment the same targets and expectations as non-disabled employees. Ensuring that the right training & solutions are in place and that the employee is fully aware of the target should negate the need to relax targets or expectations. People with disability generally do not want your pity or sympathy, rather just an increased understanding of the challenges and solutions they are using.
Question to ask yourself is, do all employees react the same way regarding targets?
The answer is some are ok with targets, some don't like targets, some ignore, some want relaxation or use excuses all the time. Visually impaired are no different. The manager has to set expectations with all employees including the hearing impaired employee and enable employees to give their best.

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