MAKE IT A WARM WELCOME.
Starting a new job is always an adjustment. But for the D/HH/DB community, it is even more so. Here is how to help make the transition comfortable and seamless.
...because success for them is success for you and your company.
Discuss with the employee what accommodations they may need to succeed in the workplace. These needs will vary by individual employee. Discuss specific needs with the employee for a variety of day-to-day situations, including:
- Phone and teleconferencing systems — visual signaling, increased volume, etc.
- Large meetings and employee gatherings
- Use of qualified, licensed interpreters, a CART provider or other alternatives
- Day-to-day and casual conversations - ask the new employee how to best communicate with them
Small tweaks in the training process can help lead to long-term success. Ultimately, if the employee has full access to materials and training, they will be better prepared in the workplace. Consider the following:
- Provide an outline of the training session
- Use hands-on demonstrations to assist in training
- Make sure all video content has captioning or a transcript is provided
- Allow extra time for communication when training
- Assign a mentor to work directly with D/HH/DB employee(s)
- Provide qualified, licensed interpreter, a CART provider or other accommodations in coordination with employee
Once you are beyond the training period, it is important to provide opportunities for the employee to be engaged with teammates and coworkers. Additionally, focus on safety plans to make sure the employee is not left behind in an emergency.
- Include D/HH/DB employees in conversations, work-break activities and social events
- Address the concerns and misunderstandings of hearing employees to help integrate the employee fully into the team
- Use a buddy system to alert D/HH/DB employees to emergency situations
- Install flashing lights to work in conjunction with auditory alarms
- Amend safety procedures as necessary
- Use texting, e-mail or pager to contact D/HH/DB employees in the event of an emergency
- Notify security if D/HH/DB employees are alone in work areas
To ensure long-term success of a D/HH/DB employee, it is best to establish and maintain a corporate training program involving all employees, departments and leadership. For assistance in establishing a training program within your organization, simply call the Commission at 602-542-3323.
“Interviewing for my first Ergonomics job I was nervous (but) so fortunate that the connection was immediate, and we just clicked. I felt included and that they embraced my deafness. They were not uncomfortable with me and vise-versa.”
Doctorate of Physical Therapy/Ergonomic Specialist