My Coworkers Appear Frustrated with My Disability

It’s just a common, minor handicap–so why does it frustrate staff so much?

Question: “I wear a hearing aid, but still I often have the need to ask co-workers to repeat things. They all know about my handicap but naturally they don’t always remember to speak a little louder until I ask them to. I sense that a lot of them find it very aggravating to have to repeat sentences when they talk to me, and sometimes I get a polite ‘Oh, never mind, it’s not that important,’ which is very frustrating. I wonder why people don’t have a little more patience with this disability, and what I can do to adapt and not get on their nerves.” – Miranda, Digital Archivist

Have you ever thought, “why are my coworkers so frustrated with my disability” or perhaps have another side of the story you’d like to share?

See comments below, and send your own question to [email protected].

Hearing issues are difficult because there are not always visible clues that alert someone to they need to behave differently. And none of us want to walk around with a sign saying Treat Me Differently! – D. Richards

I too wear hearing aids and have a hard time hearing soft spoken coworkers. I recently purchased new hearing aids (not always an option) that have three settings. I can easily turn them up or down via these settings as well as turn the volume up and down. We cannot do anything about someone else’s reaction to our disability, but we can choose to realize that it is their problem and not let it frustrate us. I hope this encourages you a bit. – J. Cram

I refuse to use the word disability. An acquaintance made the comment once about her daughter, clarifying for me that her teenage daughter has disabilities. There was almost a negative connotation and visible shrinking implied with her comment – as though she’d been shunned by people in the past for having a child that wasn’t ‘normal’ in the eyes of majority public. My heart broke for her. I’ve seen her Facebook posts, I’ve seen her family, so I knew what she was trying to tell me. I gave her a hug and told her she doesn’t have disabilities. She has different abilities. I got one of the nicest hugs back. – Polly

More conversation at Business Management Daily.


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