Make it clear that being deaf or having hearing loss or any other disability or health condition is OK, so you can support your employees to bring their whole selves to work.
Our research shows that 54% of people who are deaf or have hearing loss are reluctant to tell their employer about it. It’s important that you’re proactive in offering support at key stages of contact over the journey of employment, including at offer stage. This signals to the employee that support is available and that it’s OK to share that they have a health condition or disability.
A great way of giving an applicant this opportunity is through the offer letter. That way, any adjustments that require a bit of forward planning can be made before they start the job, so your new employee is ready to go on the first day. Don’t assume that the person with hearing loss knows what adjustments they might need. Ask them if they need any help with this. Read more about reasonable adjustments.
“I didn’t know Carl was deaf until prior to his interview. I’ve never employed anyone with hearing loss before, so I saw this as a learning opportunity as much as anything else” – James, Team Leader, IKEA
Here’s some example wording that you could add to your offer letter:
“If you have a disability or a health condition that disadvantages you at work, we are committed to making adjustments to make it easier for you to do your job. This could involve changing the way we do things, making physical changes to the office and providing extra aids or support. Please let us know if there is anything we can arrange or put in place for you before your first day”.