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Updated guidance details ADA requirements for workers with hearing disabilities

Photo: bymuratdeniz/iStockphoto

Washington — Although some employers may incorrectly assume otherwise, people with hearing disabilities can be safe and effective workers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says in a recently updated document.

The document details how the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies to job applicants and employees with a hearing disability. It also addresses employer concerns about safety and describes easy-to-access technologies – free or at low cost – that can provide reasonable accommodation

According to EEOC, about 15% of U.S. adults report having some trouble with their hearing. Hearing conditions such as deafness, being hard of hearing, experiencing ringing in the ears and having sensitivity to noise may be covered under the ADA.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to create fair workplaces for all employees and job applicants who need reasonable accommodations,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in a press release. “This document will help educate employers on those responsibilities and employees about their rights.”

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