Impact of hearing loss in the workplace: raising questions about partnerships with professionals.

  • Jennings M
  • Shaw L
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The number of adults with hearing loss who continue to work later in life is growing. Persons with hearing loss are generally unaware of the role that audiologists, occupational therapists, and vocational rehabilitation counsellors might play in the assessment of the workplace environment and appropriate accommodations. Three narratives of adults with hearing loss are used to demonstrate the gaps in accessing information, technology and services needed to maintain optimal work performance and productivity. The lack of recognition of the multidimensional needs of older workers with hearing loss and the lack of timely coordination of services led to all three persons acting alone in trying to access services and supports. In two of the three cases the impact of the hearing loss resulted in further unexpected losses such as the loss of employment and the loss of a worker-identity. There is an urgent need for partnering with persons who are hard of hearing to develop new strategies for knowledge exchange, more thorough assessment of hearing demands and modifications in the workplace, and interdisciplinary approaches to service specific to the needs of hard of hearing persons.

Author-supplied keywords

  • adults
  • hard of hearing
  • hearing loss
  • workplace communication

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  • ISBN: 1051-9815
  • ISSN: 1051-9815
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-44449171073
  • PUI: 351761651
  • PMID: 18525152
  • SGR: 44449171073


  • Mary Beth Jennings

  • Lynn Shaw

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