I am hard of hearing. I started losing my hearing quite a few years ago. I was in my 30’s when I started hearing/feeling a flutter in my ears, like a bug was flying around in it. It was disturbing but it was intermittent and I never went to a doctor for it.
When I was 50 I hit my head pretty hard on the corner of the kitchen counter. Around this same time my mother passed away unexpectedly I also started menopause. I started to have problems hearing people speak especially if more than one person was speaking. It was most difficult hearing people on the phone especially soft voices as well as hearing people in a conference room.
I made an appointment with an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor who took some tests, asked some questions and looked into my ears. I have an autoimmune disease – it has caused my hearing lost and tinnitus. I wear hearing aids and although they help I still have a difficult time hearing in certain situations. It is especially difficult on land line telephones, in noisy restaurants and anywhere there is any loud music or background noise.
I use captioning on the television as it helps for the words that I may miss and prefer people email or text me instead of talking on the phone. This makes it difficult in the business world as there is so much work that gets done on the phone or at meetings.
I have spent time searching for jobs that do not require any phone work and do work as an independent contractor where I do not answer the phones. I do not make enough as an independent contractor to pay all living expenses so I keep searching for full time work.
The resources that I have found have been through my own research. Sadly, no doctors, audiologists or Department of Rehabilitation has provided me with any resource list.
I found the Hearing Loss Association (HLAA) advertised in a little pamphlet of classified ads called the Penny Saver. The Hearing Loss Association has chapters in different areas. There are meetings once a month that usually have a speaker that offers information on hearing loss by doctors, audiologists, and information about hearing aids and assistive technology. Usually the meetings are attended by older individuals that have mainly lost hearing with age not the same as my situation. However the speakers have been informative and everyone speaks up and knows why you are there – it is a comfort not to feel like you are the only one dealing with hearing loss.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN.org) – has a lot of information for people with disabilities, “JAN is a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities”.
Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) – this has a list of association & organizations; it is a resource through JAN.org
American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA.org)
Hearing Health Matters (HearingHealthMatters.org) – Blog from HoHs, sharing hearing difficulties
Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT)
Unemployment led me to Dept. of Rehabilitation and they introduced me to a career coach or counselor. She looks for full time work for me however she looks at the same websites as I do and has no connections with employers that hire Hard of Hearing or people with disabilities.
SWOT – an online club of HoHs and deaf
I hope this helps someone and if anyone has any resources they would like to share, please do. Thank you