“I Am Able to Hear My Clients More Clearly,” WorkBC Assistive Technology Services Helps Sheila in the Workplace
Sheila’s job with an insurance company has her talking on the phone a lot. However, she began to notice she was having difficulty hearing clients on the phone.
“We service all of BC from our office in Kelowna, with the majority of work completed over the phone,” she says. “A couple of years ago I realized I was losing some of my hearing, and needless to say, this impacted my job tremendously as I was not able to hear the full conversation without a lot of ‘pardon me’ and ‘could you repeat that.’ Not only was this embarrassing, but it was taking me longer to complete a conversation.”
Tanya is currently looking for a job and undergoing job training in Smithers. However, she found that she was facing barriers in her job search.
“I have nerve damage with chronic pain. Unfortunately, this is what I have to deal with everyday,” she explains. “Some of my functional limitations are typing, sitting for long periods of time, using a pen and holding a phone.”
Maria works at a medical clinic in Richmond, and her work requires her to talk with patients in-person and over the phone in tight quarters with her co-workers. She has Tinnitus which can make it difficult to hear everything with the noisy environment.
“I find it hard to understand what people are saying or hear them correctly,” she explains. “[I’m] answering calls and sitting beside my co-worker at a metre distance apart. Both of us may be talking to patients or on the phone as our clinic is busy most of the time.”
After a 30-year career in education, Michelle had retired, but when the perfect part-time opportunity came up a year later, she jumped for it. Now, she teaches in-person workshops and works one-on-one with clients. However, when she started the new job, she found she was having a bit of difficulty.
“I have a hearing impairment,” she says. “I took the job, but was having difficulty with the situations in settings with small or larger groups with my hearing.”
After having her hearing tested, she was referred to an audiologist for hearing aids. When she explained that the cost was prohibitive, her audiologist told her about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services, and how it could help fund her hearing aids that she needed for work. She applied to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services and was quickly approved.
Navpreet works at a hotel in Abbotsford as a housekeeping supervisor. Her duties include inspecting rooms, customer service, as well as training new staff.
She is hearing impaired, and while cochlear implants had made it easier, the sound processors she received were aging and not as reliable.
“[I] still sometimes struggle with hearing at work with new people,” she shares.
Loretta has been working in the film industry in the Lower Mainland as a driver for nearly two years. With a vibrant personality and a friendly attitude, she drives cast and crew to and from set.
She also has hearing loss, which caused some difficulties at work. When driving cast members, she couldn’t tell when they were simply practicing their lines or if they were talking to her. She had bought hearing aids over a decade ago, but they had long since broken and she couldn’t afford new ones.
“They need people who are approachable, who people are going to be comfortable with, and I had all those qualities. I just felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed because of my hearing,” she explains. “I just did not want to do that anymore.”
Margot’s job sees her wearing many hats — from working reception to doing bookkeeping to handling secretarial duties. She has total hearing loss in her left ear, and decreased hearing in her right.
“[I have an] inability to hear or comprehend words when the speaker is on my left side, hence, decreased understanding of what needs to be done,” she explains.
With new hearing aids, Liu feels more confident about her job search than ever before.
A participant of WorkBC Employment Services, Liu has severe hearing loss. Her WorkBC Centre referred her to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services for funding for new hearing aids.
Liu applied to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services and was quickly approved, receiving her much-needed hearing aids.
Deborah needed hearing aids for work, but couldn’t afford them. Her audiologist referred her to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services for funding.
She applied and was quickly approved, covering a good portion of the costs, allowing her to get the much-needed hearing aids.
“I hear better and because of their financial support, I was able to get the hearing aids. If I would have had to buy them on my own, I would not have gotten them,” she says.
Emory is a teacher on call working in Terrace. He has moderate hearing loss.
Through WorkBC Assistive Technology Services, Emory was able to receive funding for a new pair of Phonak hearing aids that he needed for his job as a teacher.
“The hearing aids help me in my classroom teaching,” he says. “Communication is essential both in noisy and quiet environments, and the hearing aids are crucial for me. I also use them to connect to devices when using Zoom calls, for remote work.