Warren55

Police Officers with hearing aids

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Warren55    0

Hello,

I have a high frequency hearing loss but with hearing aids I am perfectly fine. I do not struggle with conversations and I would not propose a risk to myself, colleagues or the public.

 

But my question is, have you seen Police Officers with two hearing aids? Are they allowed?

 

The Police are required to provide 'reasonable adjustments' so I do not see why they would not be allowed, it would be the same as joining with an eye sight issue which subjects you to glasses. 

Arguments I've heard;

Radio and hearing aids will not fit- You can wear in the canal hearing aids along with the radio piece

They may get knocked off when tackling someone- Hearing aids in general are very sturdy and I've never had one completely fall out, you can also wear in-the-canal hearing aids again.

You may lose one(health and safety again)- the officer can hold a spare one

 

 

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aero2    25

When I was serving I never seen a Police Officer wear a hearing aid and as far as I know you wouldn't be allowed to join because they have a minimum hearing standard but I'd suggest you speak to the recruitment team of whichever force you want to join to get an exact answer. 

I was talking to a guy last week that was told he wouldn't be able to join the force without having laser surgery so that he met the eyesight requirements even though he could just wear glasses. 

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Warren55    0

Ah wow, that honestly sucks so much. I've been wanting to join the Police since I was 7 and did a two year course only to find out it went no way and I chased a job I may not be able to do.

 

I do not see why someone with a hearing loss, who without being bias, is able to perform the same duties as any other Officer be refused? The health and safety risks can all be eliminated. 

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aero2    25
On 31/03/2017 at 18:05, Warren55 said:

Ah wow, that honestly sucks so much. I've been wanting to join the Police since I was 7 and did a two year course only to find out it went no way and I chased a job I may not be able to do.

 

I do not see why someone with a hearing loss, who without being bias, is able to perform the same duties as any other Officer be refused? The health and safety risks can all be eliminated. 

They'll be a reason for it but as I said, ask the force you want to join directly. 

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I also have this problem and I believe with the police being a civilian employer (unlike for example the military) there is an obligation to consider 'reasonable adjustments'.

My understanding is that if there is loss in just one ear it is more favourable than loss in both.  The good news is that my audiologist told me that they have actually seen a serving officer with hearing loss and liaised with their employer to arrange for a suitable ear piece to be made for them for a specific need they had in their job.  

I have looked into various solutions myself for making the radio clearer, and the best seems to be to fit a shoe onto the bottom of a behind the ear aid, use the specific lead for that and buy a small adaptor from eBay to convert the 3.5mm shoe-lead to fit the 2.5mm radio hole, thus meaning that the radio transmissions will be filtered through the hearing aid and amplified accordingly specifically for your loss. Total cost around £35.  However, it remains to be seen whether this would be considered acceptable by Occ Health, I will report back when I get there!  My personal feeling is that if I lose one in a scuffle people will be scuffling and shouting, not whispering sweet nothings in my ear, so I will still hear what is going on and would have a spare in my kit to complete the shift with. As for the risk of injury if I get hit on the side of the head, surely that is the same if I am wearing a standard issue earpiece.

I am sure that as Aero says, traditionally this probably would not have been accepted, however with the 2010 Equality Act things may be a bit different.  There is also the Access to Work scheme - in the first 6 weeks of a new job, or prior to beginning a new job there is funding available to help employers provide needed adaptations.

I have also read an article about a London paramedic with profound hearing loss and I am sure they have to operate in some pretty chaotic situations as well. 

I will report back in a few months...

 

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OP, you said "The Police are required to provide 'reasonable adjustments' so I do not see why they would not be allowed, it would be the same as joining with an eye sight issue which subjects you to glasses."  Not sure this is a good argument as there are minimum eye sight requirements, even if you wear glasses your vision without glasses has to be of a certain minimum standard -  presumably in case they fall off.

Would be great if we could just get our ears lasered though, I'd jump at that!

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aero2    25

From the MET:

Quote

You will need detailed assessment by our MPS hearing specialist team to determine whether your hearing is sufficient for the role (with or without hearing aids)

As I said, the forces are all different I'd just get in touch with them and let them answer your questions. They do have limits just like eyesight but it will vary force to force. 

I completely understand how annoying the restrictions can be, I was refused an opportunity to join the RAF as aircrew because I had childhood asthma for a month even though I was clear for 19 years! 

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Warren55    0

This is an old topic but I would just like to inform to others about the situation and anyone else with a hearing loss.

So after completing my medical, I failed the hearing test. With documents from an audiologist, I was able to show results from a speech recognition test that I can hear quite near perfectly with hearing aids. 

The occupational health lady(I'm not sure of her professional name) passed my report and results to a doctor who then passed it onto the Police Training Institute(PTI). A separate appointment was made to do a risk assessment performed by an Health and Safety Advisor. I attended the station where a Sargent and the H&S Advisor  informed me that I will be going to the town centre near a busy road and repeating back the jobs from the Sarg that were communicated over the radio. The H&S stood next to me with a noise reader where I had to receive messages from the Sarg at the station. While he was saying the messages, I had to write them down correctly. When we finished, we went back to the station and compared it with the sarg and I got them all correct.

 

So, if you're like me and you've got a hearing loss- you can still join even with hearing aids.

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That is brilliant news, Warren55! 

Just to clarify, what do you mean by a noise reader?  Were they testing the decibels of background noise? 

 

 

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Warren55    0
On 2017-5-20 at 13:33, Coffeebean123 said:

That is brilliant news, Warren55! 

Just to clarify, what do you mean by a noise reader?  Were they testing the decibels of background noise? 

 

 

Yea, they were testing the decibels in the background to make sure it was a realistically busy enviroment.

 

2 hours ago, propidol said:

That's brilliant news, congratulations Warren. 

Thank you very much.

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Any idea what decibels the background noise was at?  Might just do my own check first.  I asked my audiologist what level my hearing was at with aids and she said they didn't have a way of knowing, which seems odd to me.  

Do you know yet whether you will get an ear piece solution that will work with your aids, or just use the radio on loudspeaker?  

Again, really good news and well done!

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Warren55    0
4 hours ago, Coffeebean123 said:

Any idea what decibels the background noise was at?  Might just do my own check first.  I asked my audiologist what level my hearing was at with aids and she said they didn't have a way of knowing, which seems odd to me.  

Do you know yet whether you will get an ear piece solution that will work with your aids, or just use the radio on loudspeaker?  

Again, really good news and well done!

I was told it was mainly around 70 but sometimes it peaked up to 80 when lorries and buses were driving past. 

And I was told the same. The audio test they do is for without hearing aids. Apparently you would have to go elsewhere to do another test with hearing aids. I did speech recognition test with an audiologist which gave me an idea of how much I can hear with and without hearing aids.

As for the radio, it think it's really up to me. The sargant I spoke to the other day said he pretty much never uses his radio piece unless he's in an extremely busy area like a football ground. He said he doesn't like the feeling of sometging being inside you hearing. But if I do wear the radio piece, I will just take one hearing aid out. 

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