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Assistance for the hearing impaired comes in many forms, from telephone equipment and audiovisual equipment to service dogs for the hearing impaired. Employers must provide assistance for the hearing impaired, so that the hearing impaired can get a job. An employer must provide TTY telephones or audio amplifiers if a hearing impaired employee needs that to complete a job. An employer must also allow the hearing impaired to bring an interpreter or a service dog on the job.
Assistance also comes in other forms that are used in everyday life. When speaking to a hearing impaired person, if that person does not have a hearing aid or other mechanical assistance, speak clearly and slowly, but not so slow that it is difficult to follow conversation. Many hearing impaired people can easily read lips. Also, keep in mind that because a person is hearing impaired, this does not automatically mean that person is also mute. Often, a person with a hearing impairment loses his or her hearing later in life and has already learned how to speak. Sometimes, a person that has been deaf or has had a hearing impairment from birth also learns how to speak, but he or she cannot hear him or herself speaking.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|