People who are deaf, deafened and hard of hearing may use hearing aids, cochlear implants and/or other hearing aids to improve available hearing. Alternatively or in addition, they may use lip-reading, sign language, sign language interpreters and/or subtitles. A person with mild to severe hearing loss is considered hard of hearing, while people with profound hearing loss are considered deaf. If, after receiving a conditional job offer, an applicant discloses that she has or has had a hearing loss, an employer may ask her additional questions, such as how long she has had the hearing loss; what, if any, heard the applicant; the person`s specific hearing impairments; and reasonable accommodations, if any, that the candidate may require to perform the work. The employer may also send the candidate for a follow-up hearing or medical examination, or ask her to provide documents from her doctor answering questions specifically designed to assess her ability to perform the duties safely. The follow-up questions that are admissible at this stage are different from those in the pre-submission phase, where an employer can only ask an applicant who voluntarily discloses a disability or whose disability is obvious whether and what type of accommodation is required to perform the work. Chapman M, Dammeyer J. The importance of deaf identity for psychological well-being. The J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2016;22(2):187-194. doi:10.1093/deafed/enw073 Example 21: Karin, who is deaf, works as an employee in a large investment company. Every December, the partner in charge of the team Karin works for hosts a party at her residence for all team members and a number of clients of the firm. At Karin`s request, her employer provides her with a sign language interpreter so that she can fully participate in the social event.
« Numb » usually refers to a person who becomes deaf as an adult and therefore faces different challenges than a person who became deaf at birth or in childhood. Various government agencies and even laws define whether a hearing loss makes you « legally deaf. » Many states define a person as deaf if they have lost the ability to hear sounds below 70 decibels, which would place them in the category of moderate to severe hearing loss. « Profound hearing loss, or technical hearing loss, is the final step in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association`s five stages of hearing loss, » Janaan Moore, AuD, an audiologist in Chicago, told WebMD Connect to Care. « At this level, you need an inner ear implant or the ability to read lips, visual cues and/or sign language to communicate, » Moore says. A person who has lost the ability to hear sounds below 90 decibels is likely a candidate for benefits under the SSA definitions of deafness. In addition, the SSA may require tests from your audiologist that involve the repetition of spoken words. In other words, there are several ways to categorize hearing loss, and determining whether or not you are legally deaf depends on who (or what organization) you are asking. Hearing loss or hearing loss is generally defined as the limited or total inability to hear sounds. If you can`t hear sounds below 25 decibels, you`re thought to have mild hearing loss. At the other end of the spectrum, a person is considered deaf if they hear absolutely no or very little. There is often confusion about the terms « hard of hearing », « hard of hearing », « deaf » and « deaf », both in the definition and in the appropriateness of the use.
The degree of hearing loss that counts as disability changes with each law against which you measure it, so you really evoke a matrix of legal definitions when you use the term « legally deaf. » The more you know about all the different legal and medical definitions, the better you`ll be able to choose where you stand – and which definition of « legally deaf » best applies to you. Together, we discuss the different stages of hearing loss and determine what makes a person legally deaf. Medically, hearing loss is divided into four categories: mild, moderate, severe, and severe. Hearing loss reported in severe and profound stages tends to be considered « deaf » by hearing care professionals. Legally, the state decides on the definition of a person`s deafness. The legal threshold for hearing loss disability is more of a guideline than a strict framework. Whether a hearing loss qualifies as a disability depends largely on the circumstances of the person making an application. Influencing factors can be: Another way an audiogram measures hearing loss is at decibels (dB).
A deaf person can only hear sounds between 81 dB (traffic) and 100 dB (industrial noise), says Avner Aliphas, MD, an otolaryngologist in Newton, MA. In cases of severe hearing loss, sounds should be between 61 dB (normal speech) and 80 dB, Aliphas. A person with normal hearing can pick up sounds up to 20 dB (calm landscape). Being medically deaf does not mean that you are automatically entitled to disability benefits. We often hear people say whether someone is « legally deaf » or not, although this phrase can be incredibly nebulous in itself. What is considered a legal hearing loss may change depending on the specific law to which it relates. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may have language that is difficult to understand due to the inability to hear their own voice. Example 22: An employer provides employees with training on organization and time management offered by a local company with which it has a contract. A Deaf employee wants to take the course and requests CARC services or a sign language interpreter. The employer claims that the company providing the training is responsible for providing what the deaf worker needs, but the company responds that the responsibility lies with the employer. Even if the company providing the training is required under Title III of the Anti-Dumping Agreement to provide « aids and services, » including CART services and sign language interpreters, this does not alter the employer`s obligation to provide the worker with reasonable accommodation for training.  Even mild hearing loss can have a significant impact on personal and professional life.
But at what point do these effects become so severe that they could be considered disabling? What degree of hearing loss is required for it to be considered a disability? In terms of hearing loss (deafness), you won`t be able to hear speech and hear extremely loud noises such as aircraft engines, traffic or fire alarms, according to the Hearing Health Foundation. The degree of hearing loss is as follows: If a person with a cochlear implant has the implant and hears well, they are hard of hearing. If the implant is removed and they don`t hear anything, they are deaf. The same goes for hearing aids. A long time ago, the author stated that she was « on the air » when she wore her hearing aids and functioned like a hearing-impaired person, but « off the airwaves » when she was not wearing the hearing aids and could not hear anything. In the United States, hearing loss and what is considered legally deaf is generally defined at the state level.
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