By Sarah Toler, Au.D.

(NAPSI)—Technology continues to transform all aspects of work in America, making it easier to communicate and improving productivity. Modern workplace technology has also unlocked new possibilities for people with hearing loss and the companies that hire them. New tools and software let them overcome many of the challenges that may have impeded their career success in the past, helping them to work to their full potential as high-performing employees. While hearing aid technology certainly helps, many other technologies developed for the workplace can transform how employees with hearing loss go about their workday.

Helpful New Technology

Here’s a look at four of the latest:

1. Video technology—The use of video in the workplace has grown tremendously and it’s become easier and more affordable to use this medium in introductions on your career page, orientation materials for new hires, and ongoing training programs for employees. By making sure these videos include closed captioning, this powerful tool can help people with hearing loss learn about your organization, get up to speed once on the job and keep learning throughout their careers.

2. Instant messaging—Face-to-face meetings, phone calls and videoconferencing can all be difficult for employees with hearing loss. If they can’t make out what’s being said, they could miss important details or work directions. The growing use of instant messaging software in the workplace helps eliminate that problem. There are now numerous platforms for communicating one on one or in group chats, letting employees with hearing difficulty easily understand their managers and peers.

3. Voice-to-text devices and apps—Special telephones that translate a speaker’s voice into readable text have been around for years but new technology takes it a step further. Many apps can translate speech directly via a smartphone’s microphone and display what’s said on the device’s screen. This provides a more portable and accessible way to ensure those with hearing loss don’t miss out on important work conversations.

4. Video relay service—For employees who rely on sign language, work meetings can pose some challenges, especially if a live interpreter isn’t available. However, through video relay services, a live sign language interpreter can help connect the two parties. Through video from a smartphone or other device, the interpreter can translate what the other party says into sign language for the hard-of-hearing individual during an interview or an important business meeting.

Including People With Hearing Loss In The Conversation

With today’s advanced technology, including discreet yet powerful hearing aids, it’s easier than ever for someone with hearing challenges to communicate at work. By removing barriers that traditionally limited how such individuals interacted with their colleagues, employees with hearing loss can be active participants and contributors in any work situation, from business-critical meetings to friendly discussions with their co-workers.

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• Dr. Toler is a Clinical Education Specialist for Sivantos, Inc. Prior to joining Sivantos, she worked in both ENT and private practice settings and has clinical skills and proficiency with all major hearing aid manufacturers, as well as diagnosing and counseling adult patients with hearing loss or tinnitus. Her areas of expertise include activating and programming both cochlear implants and osseointegrated devices in adults. In addition, she has experience in vestibular assessment and diagnosis.

clicktotweet “Modern workplace technology has unlocked new possibilities for people with hearing loss and the companies that hire them, said Sarah Toler, Au.D.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)