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Hearing Impairments

Questions to Consider

The following pages provide basic information regarding questions that might be considered when determining accommodations for individuals with hearing impairments. An accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job, work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. JAN views accommodations as a way to bridge the distance between the maximum ability of the individual and the essential functions of the job. In seeking the answers to accommodation questions, it is essential to obtain input from the individual with the disability to achieve a successful accommodation outcome.

Specific Diagnosis and the Medical Aspects Involved

1. What is the extent of the individual’s hearing loss?

2. How does the individual communicate with others?

3. Does the individual use a hearing aid(s)?

4. Does the hearing aid have a telephone coil (T-switch) or direct audio input feature?

Specifics about the Occupation and Job Tasks

1. What occupation is the person involved in?

2. What job tasks are performed and which of the tasks are difficult as a result of the hearing loss?

3. How are the job tasks typically performed?

4. Is background noise a problem in the work environment? What is causing the noise?

5. Is communication a problem?

6. Who does the person need to communicate with?

7. How does communication typically take place?

8. Are there potential workplace hazards? What measures have been taken to correct the hazards such as audible and visual fire alarms or vibrating pagers? Have the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) been evaluated if appropriate?

9. What, if any, accommodations have already been implemented?

10. Is education of supervisory personnel and perhaps co-workers necessary?

Go to JAN's publications on the Interactive Process and the Interactive Process: Federal Sector for further information.

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