Hearing management

Posted by: Karen | 2010-03-25


When is hearing impaired classified as disabled?

I have been having hearing problems since childhood due to operation upon operation, infection upon infection. At some point I was given hearing aids but it was so uncomfortable that I would rather manage without it.

Now, years later, my hearing can become so bad that I have to get very powerful hearing aids or the BAHA. The ENT is not willing to operate anymore.

My question is:

When am I classified as being disabled?
The reason for this is, I am in the process of changing jobs, I don’ t know if I should disclose this to the possible employer. I understand that this will make me more “ marketable”  but what if the employer wants to register me as disabled for his EE stats. Would I not be requested to submit some form of evidence?

I hope that you can clear things for me, as I have been in contact with the Department of Labour, but they cannot give me a definite answer.

Expert's Reply


Hearing Expert

Dear Karen

I am sorry but i won't be able to give you a clear answer either. I assume that it works on a case by case basis and a lot of medical opinions will be involved. The degree of the disability will depend on the nature of the cause, the degree of the loss and it's possibilities for treatment. I assume that if the problem is still treatable for example with hearing aids, then the disability is less.

I would recommend that you get the necessary documentation from your Audiologist (report and audiogram) and then make the decision whether you want to discuss this with your future boss.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Kind regards
Izabelle Pieterse

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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