Access for All Weekly Tip
For the week of March 26 - 30
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans (1 in 5) report some degree of hearing loss, making it the 2nd most prevalent health issue in the country. Of them, 60 percent are either in the workplace or an educational setting.
Managers or supervisors will inevitably have an employee in the workplace who has some degree of hearing loss. Employers have a legal obligation to make reasonable accommodations that enable employees with disabilities, including hearing loss, to be successful.
Many employees with hearing loss will benefit from assistive technology to perform their jobs. For example, employees responsible for answering telephones may require a handset amplification system, a captioned phone, a videophone for video relay calls, or other technology that enables them to communicate effectively over the phone.
Employees who work in an environment that relies on audible communication systems, such as intercom or paging systems, may need a text-based or other visually alerting substitute. Installing FM loop systems, which operate like miniature radio stations broadcasting sound directly to compatible hearing aids, can assist employees with hearing aids in receiving high quality sound without background noise or loss of sound quality.
Call Oklahoma ABLE Tech (800-257-1705) for accommodation ideas or to borrow assistive technology. ABLE Tech’s AT Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program works just like a book library. Here are some devices that relate to this article:
Need funding to assist in the purchase of assistive devices? Oklahoma ABLE Tech offers a comprehensive online guide for Oklahoma Funding for AT. Additionally, ABLE Tech, in partnership with Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) and BancFirst of Stillwater, offers Financial Loans to purchase assistive technology. Several programs of funding are available, all with LOW interest rate and flexible repayment terms, as well as special qualification opportunities for applicants who might not qualify for a traditional bank loan. For questions on the Financial Loan opportunities, call Shelley Gladden for more information at 800-257-1705.
Rob Carr, Accessibility Coordinator
Linda Jaco, Associate Director for Sponsored Programs