How To Make the Most of Virtual Meetings When You Have Hearing Loss
Whether you’re fully remote, in the office, or somewhere in between, there’s a good chance you have to participate in at least the occasional virtual meeting. While having the ability to connect remotely with others offers many benefits, it can also pose several challenges to people with hearing loss.
The good news is that whether you have hearing loss yourself or are looking to accommodate an employee or colleague who does, there are multiple ways to make virtual meetings more accessible.
Use Hearing Aids or Noise-Canceling Headphones
This one may seem obvious, but if you have hearing aids, make sure to use them during virtual meetings. Many of today’s hearing aids come with Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can sync them up with your computer or laptop during virtual meetings. This can provide clearer sound that is customized to meet your individual hearing needs.
If you can’t sync your hearing aids, consider using noise-canceling headphones. They can help minimize distracting background noise and allow you to focus better on the conversation happening during your meeting. The next time you’re shopping at Oakwood Mall, stop by an electronics store and see what pair might work best for you.
Use the Mute Button
Keep yourself on mute while you’re not speaking and encourage everyone else in the meeting to do the same. This can help eliminate background noise and make it easier to focus on whoever is speaking. It also reduces the likelihood of crosstalk, which can also be distracting.
Practice Good Communication Techniques
Encourage anyone who is speaking during the meeting to have their camera on and look directly at their screens while talking. Also, try to avoid covering your mouth. Visual cues can make listening easier for everyone involved.
Use Accommodating Technology
Virtual meeting platforms like Zoom often have automated captioning features that use speech-to-text technologies. Consider enabling them to help everyone follow along. It can also be helpful to record meetings and share the recordings with attendees afterward. This lets people with hearing loss go back and check to see if there’s anything they missed and helps them be more present during the meeting.
Get a Hearing Test
If you’ve been struggling to follow along during virtual meetings due to hearing problems, make an appointment for a hearing test at your earliest convenience. The sooner you and your audiologist can figure out the severity of your hearing loss and begin treatment with hearing aids, the easier it will be to stay connected both virtually and in person.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call DeFatta Health today.