By making your organisation attractive to and inclusive of people with hearing loss, you’ll be broadening your talent pool and enabling your staff to reach their full potential. There’s value far beyond meeting your legal responsibilities.
Given the right support, people who are deaf or have hearing loss can carry out – and excel – in most jobs. There are around 5 million people of working age in the UK with hearing loss, so losing out on this wealth of potential talent just doesn’t make business sense.
Major employers such as EY, Shearman and Sterling and RBS are recognising the value of making their organisation more inclusive of people who are deaf or have hearing loss. EY and Ability EY recently worked with us to launch the Hearing Leadership Challenge, during which senior partners took part in activities that demonstrated the impact of deafness and hearing loss at work.
The government’s Access to Work scheme provides financial support towards the cost of practical workplace adjustments for people with hearing loss. An Access to Work grant can help cover the cost of specialist equipment such as an amplified telephone or a conversation listener, and communication support such as a sign language interpreter – whatever’s most suitable for the individual’s needs. So there’s nothing stopping you from making the most of the wealth of talent that’s out there.
As well as attracting people with hearing loss to your organisation, it’s important to consider your existing employees and the changing workforce. We’re most likely to lose our hearing as we get older: 42% of people over 50 have hearing loss. With the pension age increasing to 66 for men and women in 2020, hearing loss is set to become a hot-button topic – so getting to grips with it now will better equip you to retain your most valued and experienced staff.
To find out more about the Hearing Leadership Challenge, email firstname.lastname@example.org