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Technology at work

Photo: Technology at work

Starting a new job can be an exciting and challenging experience whether it’s full-time work, a part-time job, work experience placement or internship programme. There are many different products and technologies that might help deaf people in all aspects of their work.

All disabled people are entitled to have equal opportunities at work, so it’s important that you know your rights in the workplace.

For face-to-face conversations and meetings

A radio aiddigital streamer or personal listener can help you have clear face-to-face conversations with other work colleagues or customers, especially in noisy environments where your hearing aids might not be fully effective. They also work well in meetings if the product has an omni-directional microphone which picks up sounds from all around it.

Another option would be to use a loop system, either installed in the room or as a portable device which can be used at a reception desk or carried with you.

For telephone conversations

Speaking on the telephone is an important aspect of many jobs. If your employer doesn’t have suitable phones then you could consider a mobile phone or amplified landline phone that is hearing aid compatible. There are also many accessories which could help make an existing phone more suitable, for example a telephone handset amplifier or headset. A digital streamer would enable you to wirelessly link your hearing aids to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile or landline phone.

An alternative to using voice over the telephone would be to use a relay service (which allows text and voice users to have phone conversations) or a textphone.

A lot of work communication is now carried out in text or online. You will be communicating with colleagues, customers and other organisations using email, text message, social media, forums and by using video.

To alert you to things happening at work

You will need to be alerted to fire, so you can safely leave the building. To alert you to other things happening around you, you could consider a doorbell or a personal alerting system which can alert you to a wide range of alerts including the phone ringing, the doorbell or a fire alarm.

Talking to people in the car

If your work involves travel you might want to be able to talk with colleagues when travelling in the car, again there are product solutions which could help you. Find more information on technology in the car.

Are there any apps that could help me?

Yes, there are many apps which could help you at work which you can use with either your smartphone or tablet. You could use apps to:

  • help you communicate better
  • alert you to receiving information on your mobile device or to external noises
  • help you plan your travel and keep you up to date with train and bus times
  • make effective use of smartwatches to help you stay well organised.