Can a Deaf Person Work in a Warehouse? (Answered)

can a deaf person work in a warehouse

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities have the right to work as long as they meet the requirements of the job.

So, it’s not surprising to see employers hiring deaf people to work in manufacturing industries, retail, healthcare, construction, and professional services.

However, there have been different lines of reasoning regarding whether deaf people are eligible to work in a warehouse or not.

This article aims to answer this controversial question as well as provide adequate information on the topic.

So, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Deafness & Warehouse

To start with, deaf people are individuals with profound hearing loss, that is, little or no hearing. In the case of no hearing, the condition is termed total deafness, while little hearing is medically termed partial deafness.

Hearing loss can affect both genders and people of all ages. It can be in-born or after birth and range from mild to severe hearing impairment. The common causes of deafness are auditory nerves problems, brain damage, and dysfunction of the inner ears.

It also makes sense to look at the basic explanation of a warehouse for this discussion.

In simple terms, a warehouse is an extensive building for storing raw materials or finished goods before their distribution.

A warehouse ranges from on-demand storage to cold storage, bonded warehouse, smart warehouse, distribution center, pick, pack, and ship warehouse. Regardless, storage functions are common to all types of warehousing.

Related: Can a Deaf Person Work on a Construction Site? (Answered)

Can a Deaf Person Work in a Warehouse?

deaf employees in the workplace

Yes, deaf people can work in a warehouse with no fear of unproductivity or security issues. The workplace is safe and rewarding when accommodations for deaf people are in place.

The next section will address the assistive technology needed to help deaf people working in a warehouse.

Common Workplace Accommodations for Deaf People Working in a Warehouse

Now that you know that deaf people can work in a warehouse, you’re probably wondering how this can be possible.

No worries!

This section will address how a deaf person can conveniently work in a warehouse. So, keep reading.

Real-time Captioning

This is captions appearing on a screen as words are being spoken. It could be on a phone screen, projector, or laptop. Sometimes, it is called live captioning or Computer Assisted Real-Time Translation.

The captions in live captioning are encased in white letters with a black background.

For any deaf person working in a warehouse, live captioning is a necessary assistive technology to make work easier. For instance, a warehouse manager can use live captioning to communicate to a deaf person working as a warehouse assistant.

In essence, a deaf person can work in a warehouse using live captioning to access daily workplace communication.

Visual Emergency Notifications

A deaf person can work effectively in a warehouse with visual emergency notifications. What a visual emergency notification device does is to alert people with hearing impairments to various environmental sounds.

Some examples of visual emergency notifications are doorbell alarms, alarm clocks, telephone signals, and alarm systems. These devices use visual components like flashing lights, increased amplification, and vibrations to notify deaf people.

Visual emergency notifications can help deaf people working in a warehouse to be more productive as they are aware of the happenings in their workplace.

They also serve as a guide as they help the individuals to avert dangers while working.

Related: 10 Surprising Jobs that a Deaf Person Cannot Do

American Sign Language Interpreter

An American Sign Language Interpreter can also assist a deaf person working in a warehouse to perform their duties effectively.

You can consider hiring an ASL interpreter if you have deaf employees working in your warehouse. This will foster a good relationship between you and them and have seamless communication.

As a note, an American Sign Language Interpreter uses body posture, facial expressions, and hand signs to communicate with a deaf person. However, it is important to confirm if your deaf employee understands sign language before hiring an ASL interpreter because not all deaf people do.

Written Memos

A deaf person can effectively work in a warehouse with a memorandum.

Gone are the days of printing out memos and distributing them to specific offices or individuals in an organization. You can now easily send a memo via email to a deaf person to inform, confirm, report, or make a suggestion.

Just make sure that the information on the memo is straight to the point and clear enough for easy reading and assimilation.

You can use a written memo to communicate with a deaf warehouse assistant, a deaf warehouse supervisor, or a manager. It is a good assistive technology for the workplace.

Telecommunication Relay Services

Services like text and video relay services have made it easy for people with hearing impairments to work in a warehouse. These technological advancements allow seamless communication for deaf people through video equipment or typed text.

Although many people believe that text relay services are old-fashioned, some deaf people still find it a better option for communicating in the workplace.

So, it all buzzes down to the preference of the individual.

Thanks to video relay services that have become a popular option of telecommunication relay services in the workplace, many deaf people are working and performing their duties in warehousing.

But note that this service uses American Sign Language, thus making it a bad choice for deaf people who don’t know much about ASL.

Related: 10 Amazing Jobs for One-Handed Persons

Warehouse Job Positions for Deaf People

can a deaf person work in a warehouse

Working in a warehouse requires the responsibilities of maintaining, organizing, shipping, packing, and handling raw materials or finished goods. These responsibilities are grouped into roles to ensure proper functioning.

Even though a deaf person can work in a warehouse, they cannot do certain work because of their disability. Here’s a list of good and bad warehouse jobs for the deaf.

Good Warehouse Jobs for a Deaf Person

  • Warehouse material handler
  • Shipping and receiving associate
  • Stocking associate
  • Storing associate
  • General laborer

Not So Good Warehouse Jobs for a Deaf Person

  • Forklift operator
  • Machine operator
  • Warehouse manager
Can a Deaf Person Work in a Warehouse? (Answered)

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