Fear of a potential negative effect on their career is preventing people with hearing loss from disclosing their condition to their employers, new research has revealed.
Research by Action on Hearing Loss, as part of the charity’s Working For Change campaign, shows more than half of people living with deafness and hearing loss surveyed felt they could not be open about it at work.
A third felt they would be unfairly treated at work, while 61 per cent felt others would assume they would not be competent.
In addition, more than two-thirds have experienced isolation in the workplace.
Paul Breckell, Chief Executive at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “This new research shows that despite there being 11 million — that’s one in six — people in the UK living with some form of deafness and hearing loss, many of these in employment are struggling unnecessarily.
“It’s shocking that in 2017, and despite a lot of work by governments and employers to encourage more inclusivity and accessibility, people with deafness and hearing loss feel they can’t be open about it.
“It seems much of the awareness raising has neglected to include invisible disabilities like deafness and hearing loss.
“The levels of stress and the isolation experienced by people with hearing loss at the workplace are shocking.
“The prevalence of hearing loss is only going to increase, with 65,500 already living in Northumberland, so it’s therefore essential that employers take note of these findings and create a working environment where people feel both able and welcome to disclose disabilities and sensory impairments.”
To find out more about the Working For Change campaign, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/workingforchange