Coverage for Hearing Loss Under ADA

Coverage for Hearing Loss Under ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was founded in 1990. Its purpose is to make sure individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination both in and out of the workplace. When it comes to hearing loss, however, many people may not see this as a disability. Most people with hearing loss live active, productive lives, relatively unencumbered. However, according to legislation, a “disability” is anything that “limits a major life activity.” Hearing is certainly a primary component of many life activities. Hence, hearing loss is covered by the ADA.

So how are people with hearing loss covered by the ADA? Essential life activities cannot be denied to a person based on their loss of hearing. For instance, a sign language interpreter has to be provided by a doctor if needed. Those with hearing loss are also protected when it comes to employment. Inside the legislation are statutes that stipulate things employers can and cannot do when it comes to employees – or potential employees – with hearing loss. For instance, an employer cannot ask a person if they have had a hearing impairment. This prevents applicants from being discriminated against based on their hearing loss. However, an employer can ask basic questions regarding the ability to communicate or meet safety requirements necessary to perform the job adequately.

If a hearing loss is disclosed during the interview process, an employer can offer accommodation to help the applicant perform his or her job better. In other words, the employer is not allowed to not hire the person because of perceived or disclosed hearing loss, but the employer can help the person do their job better. For instance, if someone has to answer phones using a headset that typically goes in an ear that has hearing loss, the employer can offer a headset that goes in the other ear.

When it comes to hearing aids, there are protections for potential employees as well. The presence of a hearing aid cannot be used to discriminate against an applicant. Further, the employer is not allowed to ask about the person’s hearing loss just because he or she sees a hearing aid in the applicant’s ear.

Also, the ADA gives employees the right to get time off in order to have their hearing aids checked. The employer does not have the right to ask about the type of hearing aid you have, require a note, or even the extent of your hearing loss.

Life with hearing loss is made better by both the ADA and a quality hearing aid. For more information or for a life-improving hearing aid, reach out to Ear Master at (580) 436-3277, via the Internet at or in person at 703 N. Broadway Avenue
Suite 2 Ada, Oklahoma 74820. You can also connect with us on Facebook for more updates.

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