Inclusive Technology in the Workplace
We live in a very busy, fast-paced world where productivity matters most since time is money. If we can design our workplace more efficiently, we can cater to those who have unique hearing needs, such as those with hearing loss. This not only helps our hearing-impaired employees work more efficiently, it also makes for a happier and more productive work environment.
Hearing loss affects 36 million people in America. With so many people affected by it, it is time to stop and think about ways in which we can improve their productivity in the workplace. This can be done using inclusive technology, which offers various solutions to make every workplace more compatible with those who have hearing loss. We can begin by eliminating the stigma attached to hearing loss.
Encouraging a warm and accepting atmosphere at work can help those with hearing loss come forward and voice their unique hearing needs. This can help us determine what changes can be made around the workplace to accommodate for those who have trouble hearing.
Making simple changes around the workplace can also go a long way in helping those with hearing loss to work more efficiently. Making meetings more text oriented rather than speech oriented can be helpful; you can provide written copies of each meeting to every employee so that those with hearing loss do not miss out on any vital information.
Video presentations can include closed captions to accommodate for those who have hearing loss. Visual presentations can receive more preference than verbal presentations so that people can get a more tangible idea of the presentation while accommodating for those with hearing problems.
When it comes to communication within the office, you can use emails to send out memos and text messages rather than verbal reminders to help hearing impaired employees conduct their daily work more efficiently. You can even use video calling rather than phone calls so that those with hearing loss can lip read.
If you are starting a new office, think about designing the workplace to accommodate for those with a hearing impairment. Use materials that can limit sound and do not cause reverb. Refrain from having high ceilings and wooden flooring as these tend to make it harder for those with hearing loss.
Have your hearing impaired employees seated well away from noisy work equipments such as photo copiers and printers. Those with hearing aids tend to face feedback and sound interruptions when positioned too close to electronic gadgets.
Once you think outside the box to make the work environment a comfortable place for those with hearing loss, you will encourage them to work more efficiently since they will feel more included and happier. Removing unnecessary auditory distractions from the workplace not only benefits your business, it also improves the job satisfaction of those who already have the added challenge of being hearing impaired.