The world around us is changing. Schools, restaurants and even your office are nothing like they were only a few months ago. With the introduction of virtual, digital and remote work, there is a lot to get used to. This is especially true for those with hearing loss.
Below is an explanation of the challenges those with hearing loss are facing in an ever-changing workspace as well as simple solutions to be more accommodating to all.
Video Call Challenges
When the video call freezes, the image will be stuck but the audio will continue. This is easy enough to follow for most, but for those with hearing loss, they are losing a helpful visual cue.
If the video call fails, the meeting can be moved to audio only. But with such a quick change, it is hard for those with hearing loss to keep up.
There is an inevitable delay on a video call. When there are multiple people in the meeting, it is easy to interrupt and talk over each other. When multiple people are talking at once, it is hard for someone with hearing loss to understand what anyone is saying.
Many people use wireless headphones to call into their meetings. When you are unencumbered by wires, it is easy to walk away from the computer and continue to participate in the call. Removing the visual information makes it harder for someone with hearing loss to follow what they are saying.
Solutions to Video Challenges
The following best practices were put together by Jill Gardner, a learning solutions leader.
- Choose a video conferencing platform that offers live closed captioning. Make sure this option is turned on before the meeting starts.
- Make sure only one person is talking at a time.
- Call on those who have not had a chance to speak to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate.
- Assign someone to make sure the meeting stays on task and covers the right topics.
- Remind participants to face the camera when speaking and encourage them to share their screen if they are describing something that could be elevated with a visual example.
- Send a follow-up email with a written summary of the call as well as keys points discussed and important decisions made.
Nearly 60 percent of those with hearing loss are still in the workforce. To learn more about working with hearing loss, contact the experts at Total Hearing Care of Dallas.