Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: How you can get help.

Working for Change

Join our campaign to change attitudes in the workplace, so people who are deaf or have hearing loss aren’t left out or left behind.

The problem

Our research tells us that people of working age who are deaf or have hearing loss face major barriers to fulfilling their potential at work. 

It has shown that employees who are unsupported to manage their hearing loss in the workplace can have fewer opportunities for promotion and are more likely to retire early due to the difficulties they face at work.

Our 2018 survey of people who have hearing loss found that the biggest barrier they face in the workplace is the attitude of employers. 

More than half of the people we surveyed said concerns about their employer’s attitude to hearing loss had stopped them from telling their employer about their hearing difficulties. This means people aren’t getting the support they need.

Our research also found that employers don’t know where to go to get information about disability, including hearing loss. They want better disability information, so they are better equipped to meet the needs of their employees. 

Download our Working for Change report to find out more about the experiences of people who are deaf or have hearing loss in the workplace – and watch our two campaign videos.

Communication challenges during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

The changes to how we work during the coronanvirus outbreak have created extra challenges for employees who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Many people are now working from home and are therefore reliant on phone or video conferencing to communicate with their employers and colleagues.

People who can’t work from home are going into their workplaces, where there are social distancing measures in place – such as the use of face coverings or guidance to work back-to-back – which makes lipreading harder. 

It’s crucial that the employers and employees have up-to-date and specific information to help people who are deaf or have hearing loss overcome the communication challenges they face at this time. 

We have created an information hub to tell employers about the impact that home working and Covid-19 secure workplaces may have on staff who are deaf or have hearing loss. The hub includes guidance on the steps employers can take to overcome the new barriers being created.

Visit the information hub

What we’re doing about it 

We want deaf people and those with hearing loss to get the understanding and support they need to find work and fulfil their potential at work. 

Since we launched the campaign, we’ve been working with businesses and employers to raise awareness of how they can better support employees who are deaf or have hearing loss.

See our information and guidance for employers.

Watch a video that shows how EY is getting it right.

We have also produced guidance for people who are deaf or have hearing loss who are working at home because of coronavirus.

We believe the government is best placed to provide employers with information and guidance on disabilities and long-term health conditions, including hearing loss and deafness.

That’s why, together with our campaigners, we have been calling for the creation of a disability information hub for employers. 

At the end of 2018, more than 1,000 of you took action and called on the Minister for Disabled People to create a disability information hub. As a result of this, we met with the Minister and some of our campaigners explained to the government the barriers they face in the workplace and what changes are needed.

Thanks to our campaigning, the government included proposals for improved employer information within its consultation ‘Health is everyone’s business’, launched in summer 2019. 

We are still waiting for the government’s response to this consultation.

Join our campaign

At the moment, our focus is on influencing the government to consider the needs of deaf people and those with hearing loss in their response to the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more about our influencing work.

When the time is right, we want to renew the pressure on the government to deliver the employer information hub – and we’ll need your help to take action if the response isn’t published soon.

Join our Campaigns Network for the latest campaign updates and ways to get involved in this campaign and others.