Though the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prevents employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of disability, many employees are still fearful of disclosing an impairment to their manager.
According to a new survey conducted by Action on Hearing Loss, a UK-based hearing charity, more than 50% of respondents said they were fearful of disclosing their hearing loss in the workplace. A summary of the study’s results, published on the Hear-it AISBL—a nonprofit organization that provides information on hearing loss—website, show that a portion of people thought their jobs were in jeopardy if their disability was disclosed. In this article, we’ll share the highlights, edited and adapted from the Hear-it website.
The survey of over 1,000 UK residents age 16 and above, showed that 54% of respondents said they chose not to disclose their hearing loss to employers. Of that number, 30% did not do so because they thought they’d be treated differently; 60% said they felt others would assume they were incompetent; 42% thought it was pointless to mention because their workplace wasn’t equipped to help them; and 18% thought disclosing their hearing loss might cost them their job.
Applying For Jobs
Many respondents didn’t think a future employer would be any more accommodating than a current employer. Of those that applied for a job, 44% said had not disclosed their hearing loss at the beginning, with 51% concerned that a future employer would think they wouldn’t be able to do the job; 17% thought they would be treated unfairly.
Given that 79% of respondents said they felt stressed and 65% reported feeling isolated as a result of their hearing loss, it’s not surprising that 56% said that hearing loss drove the decision to retire early, according to the survey results.
The first step to living with hearing loss is to visit a hearing care professional for evaluation. Your hearing care professional can recommend a treatment plan that helps you get the most out of your work and home life. If you’re concerned about the potential costs of a treatment, a company like CareCredit allows you to spread payments out over the course of months. This makes financing your treatment an easy proposition!
This content is provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by CareCredit and also adapted from Hear-it.org.