Step 4: Choose the Accommodation
Responding the Emergency Signals
Fire or emergency alerting systems may need to be modified.
Visual or Tactile Alerting
Visual or tactile alerting mechanisms can be substituted for the traditional audible signal. Alarms can be purchased that have lights or lights can be hard-wired to an existing system. It may also be helpful to monitor the auditory signal and then transmit a visual or tactile cue to a strategically placed receiver in the individual’s work environment or a vibrating receiver that the individual can wear. The individual who is deaf or hard of hearing might also be alerted to emergency situations through a vibrating pager that could be somehow tied-in to the existing fire alarm system.
Use of a “buddy system,” where a hearing coworker alerts the employee with a hearing loss to an emergency situation, can be appropriate but only in conjunction with one of the above or similar suggestions. The “buddy system” should not be relied on as the only means of alerting an individual with a hearing impairment to emergency situations.