Anyone manage a team member who is deaf?

(12 Posts)
ThreeBecameFour Mon 07-Sep-15 17:32:42

This is not really an employment issue but didn't know where else to post. I have a new member of staff joining my team who is going to be great! She is profoundly deaf and lip reads and uses hearing aids. She was an excellent candidate at interview so I am excited she is joining us. I want to make her feel as welcome as possible without bringing too much emphasis to her lack of ability to hear. The role she will ne doing is a fundraiser at a charity. How can I make sure she has everything she needs, make other members of staff sensitive to her needs without making her feel comfortable? It will be the first time a few members of staff have worked with someone with a disability. I have asked her about practical stuff like phone equipment etc but I want to make sure she has all the support she needs without making her uncomfortable. Any tips?

ThreeBecameFour Mon 07-Sep-15 17:33:47

*without making her feel uncomfortable!

ThreeBecameFour Mon 07-Sep-15 17:34:47

Oh I give up! I am on a train with a tiny screen. you get the drift!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 07-Sep-15 17:46:53

I take it shes an adult who can help with suggestions? Have you a local deaf centre? They will have literature and helpful hints, like fire alarms, etc if you`re in a building

tunnockt3acake Tue 08-Sep-15 00:08:05

I used to go to a pub the bar lady was deaf. I didnt even realise until someone told me !

She was great !

She used to lip read

Suggest treat your new starter like anyone else. She will probably ask if she needs anything

All new starters have to be made aware of fire alarms & other safety issues etc
Normally someone is appointed fire warden & has to clear the building of people

overthemill Tue 08-Sep-15 00:16:29

You could just tell her that you've never worked with anyone deaf before or had much it her experience so please tell you if there's anything you can do to help or that makes it harder for her. And then relax.

ThreeBecameFour Tue 08-Sep-15 06:38:37

Thanks all. I am definitely over thinking it. I just want to make sure she is happy and comfortable smile

HMF1 Tue 08-Sep-15 06:49:51

Hi I have a severe hearing loss, something you do need to consider is fire alarms, I can't hear them & I have a personal alarm linked to the building alarm & personal evacuation plan. You might also want to consider the set up of any meetings & if your colleague will be able to see people if they are speaking, she may rely heavily on lip reading. Really just ask & not just at the start if there is anything you can do to assist.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Tue 08-Sep-15 06:58:11

Yes, I do (in a roundabout way). For safety you definitely need to think about adding flashing lights to the alarm system so it's not just a siren. Also, make sure that text/email is set up for her asap as these will be her main form of correspondence.

But the rest is up to your workplace and her (eg setting up a hearing loop system in the building).

When she starts just ask her if she's happy and if there's anything she needs - you'll be fine!

gallicgirl Tue 08-Sep-15 11:50:16

I have a friend who has just started using this personal loop system and he says it's great:
www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/shop/roger-pen-product-l427.aspx
It's funded between the employer and access to work scheme.

It might be useful for your employer to look at personal evacuation plans anyway. They can be needed for all sorts of reasons; I had one while I was pregnant as I couldn't have walked down the stairs from the 9th floor.

CMOTDibbler Tue 08-Sep-15 12:00:10

Asking her what you can do to make her life easier is the way to go - she might appreciate other staff getting training on making communication with Deaf/deaf people easier, either delivered by her or outsourced. Or she might prefer to deal with it as needed.

Checking in with her during one to ones about whether she could use more adaptive technology or anything else would also give her an ongoing platform to discuss things without her feeling like she is making a problem.

Chewbecca Tue 08-Sep-15 21:50:15

I used to. My colleague missed out on a lot of chit chat around the office, including work related info so bear in mind she won't pick up on everything that others will be aware of. We booked a signer for any 'big' meetings, comms sessions etc so worth thinking about how to ensure she gets all the info she needs when some info is delivered verbally in group situations.

Good luck.

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