The Americans With Disabilities Act and Hearing Loss

by | Oct 19, 2018 | Audiologist

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was put into place, it made it illegal to discriminate against people who have disabilities. What this means is that public entities and employers are legally required to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities which restrict major life activities. Originally, this law only applied to deafness but as of 2008, it now covers other sorts of hearing loss.

Acquiring Employment

As far as hearing loss and the ADA go, there are specific guidelines related to what employers can ask an application about their disability. If an applicant chooses to disclose that they have hearing loss, an employer cannot ask questions about what caused the problem. However, the employer is allowed to ask about the ability of the candidate to perform the required functions of the job with or without accommodations.

Work Accommodations

The ADA requires that an employer provides reasonable accommodations for employees who have hearing loss. Some examples of accommodations that might be provided include the following:

  • Adjustments to the workplace, such as placing an employee with hearing loss in an area that is quieter and has less foot traffic.

  • Providing computer software, which might include a telecommunications relay service that provides transcriptions of any phone calls.

  • Offering assistive listening devices, including a personal FM system that helps the employee here people speaking using an ear receiver.

Hearing Loss ADA Public Accommodations

As far as public entities go, these must also be accessible to those with hearing loss by providing reasonable accommodation. This might mean having sign language interpreters in legal and medical settings. Other public venues may need to implement smoke detectors with flashing lights in addition to sound. Trains and buses often use induction loop systems to make sure that important announcements are heard by those with hearing loss through their hearing aids.

Understanding Your Rights

The ADA was put into place to ensue that individuals who have disabilities have the same protections and rights as those who are not disabled. This applies both in everyday life and in the workplace. If you encounter a situation where a public entity or business does not comply, this can be reported to prevent it occurring again in the future.

At Ear Master, we provide services and products for those who are experiencing hearing loss. You can learn more about us by visiting You can also connect with us on Facebook for more updates.

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