Ensuring That Your Meetings are Accessible to People with Hearing Loss

Ensuring That Your Meetings are Accessible to People with Hearing Loss

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA Communication, Hearing Loss, News, Tips & Tricks, Workplace & Economy

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA received her Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in 1988 from Stetson University, Florida Hearing Aid Dispensing License in 1990 and National Board Certification from the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (BC-HIS) in 1992. Presently, Leanne E. Polhill is Chairperson of the Florida Department of Health’s Board of Hearing Aid Specialists, where she has served since her initial gubernatorial appointment in 2004.
Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA

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Do you run a lot of meetings at the office? Do you sometimes feel like not everyone is on the same page, or that some people on your team are struggling to hear? Roughly 60% of those with hearing loss are in work or educational settings, and as a leader at your workplace, it’s important that your meetings are accessible to everyone. Learning a little bit more about accessibility strategies can make a world of difference to those in your meetings struggling to hear, and if you can find a way to keep meetings accessible, your team will benefit from the expertise of everyone in the room.

Communication Barriers

Look around the boardroom at your next meeting. Does anyone have a disability? Hearing loss is often called an invisible disability, because no matter how hard you look at someone, you can’t see that they have hearing loss. Even if they nod along to what you’ve said, or seem to be hearing clearly, they might be straining to catch the meaning of what you’re saying, and find themselves lost or confused.

Perhaps you’ve had easy one-on-one conversations with everyone on your team, but it’s important to remember that in a meeting it’s much harder to hear than in face to face communication. A boardroom is easily filled with distracting noises like someone pouring a coffee, shuffling around in their chair, or coughing. Often people speak facing the screen on the wall rather than to the people around the table.

Breaking down these communication barriers is the first step to making your meetings accessible. Make sure that anyone who’s speaking in meetings has the appropriate skills and training to give successful presentations, speaks clearly, faces the people in the meeting, and looks for signs that everyone has heard and understood what’s being said.

Tips for Increased Accessibility

Do you have a hard of hearing person on your team? You value their input, so here are a few tips to increasing the accessibility in your meetings. Make sure the room is as quiet as possible, and there are no distracting sounds. Repeat things as necessary and ask questions to make sure everyone has understood what’s being discussed.

Make sure your office is utilizing the technology available to you. If someone in your office is struggling to hear, you can easily make use of captioning technology. Whether in meetings, teleconferences, or any other events, you can enhance communication through real time captioning. It can be made available to everyone in your office on their personal devices like their laptop or phone, and it doesn’t need to be an expensive investment. Even if your team member didn’t hear something, they can easily read what’s been said, provide input in conversations, and add value to your meetings.

Scheduling a Hearing Test

Are you struggling to hear during meetings at work, around the family dinner table, or when out with friends for drinks? If you’ve been feeling left out, and feel completely exhausted by the end of each day, then call us today at Encore Hearing to book a hearing test. Our hearing health specialists will perform a comprehensive hearing test to determine your unique hearing needs, and discover which sounds you’re missing.

Once we understand more about your hearing loss, we’ll work with you to find the perfect device that will match your hearing needs, and help you hear at work and at home. You can stop dreading the next meeting at work, knowing you’ll easily hear everything that’s been said and participate fully. You’ll be primed to receive that promotion you’ve been eyeing, and your colleagues will value your options. With directionality mics, background noise reduction, and speech enhancement features, your devices will give you the best hearing in the office. And when it comes to connectivity, you can control all the programs and settings from your smartphone, for the ultimate in discretion and convenience. You’ll even be able to stream audio right to your ears, so during the next presentation or conference call you will hear every word clearly.

Call us today at Encore Hearing to learn more about our advanced hearing technology, take control of your hearing health, and enjoy all the benefits of hearing, both at work and at home.