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Hi, does anyone have advice about communicating disabilities to employer and colleagues!

moon_light Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited December 2022 in Start here and say hello!
Hi All, 

My employer has written a draft email to disclose to the whole company about my hearing disability. I do want want to meet members of staff face to face and speak about it. But I have a hearing impairment that causes a lot of pain and I don't want people to know I get pain. But I do want people to know that it takes me longer to learn things, understand what people say at times and that emails work better for me. If the emails are clearly written. 

The draft email from HR is incredibly 1970s and I cannot help think the HR personell himself (who has a visible) impairment was told to write it. Whilst I don't want people to know who wrote it, I have included it here. 

"Dear all,

I am writting to make you aware that we recruited a new employee within our team, XXXXXX. XXXXX has given me permission to send this email to you all to explain that he has condition that can have an impact on his hearing.

What does this mean to you as a colleague of XXXXXX? Please be aware that not every disability is always visible but it doesn’t mean it’s not there.  Communication may be impacted in some way and sometimes you may have to repeat yourself and check that you have been understood. Please consider whether it would be more appropriate to send a communication by email, particularly with complex or multiple queries.  if XXXXX’s email states out of the office he may be attending an appointment so may not always be able to get back to urgent requests straight away. At this time xxxxx is comfortable with you knowing about his condition but does not feel comfortable discussing this in more detail, so please respect this. If you have any further questions you would like to raise please contact me directly."

Does anyone have any advice on dealing with employers in explaining my disability to other employees? I feel my life could be easier if people were more mindful about their choices of words or behaviors. As well as not taking things personally when I need to wfh or find an office to concentrate. I don't think this is very professional given that emails can be forwarded on to anyone. Perhaps as it is very directly to me, it is too targeting in itself. And preventing a more humane way of dealing with this. 

Any advice or anedotes about communicating issues of disability to colleagues? It does feel like a bit of opening a can worms situation, if not dealt with with care and empathy. 


  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I have worked in hr over 30nyears and have never come across this approach 

    Your disability only needs to be disclosed to people you communicate with not to the whole workforce 

    I suggest hr or your line manager have a team meeting to discuss with relevant people and leepsna record of those attended . You don't need to be present.

    Remember that however ot is done it will be yesterday's news and quickly forgotten 

    Sending email isn't really secure as you pointed out 

    Maybe an idea to look af the deaf society website and seek advice from them 
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