Remote working during the COVID-19 crisis

Millions of people have been working at home during the COVID-19 crisis due to government guidance and lockdown restrictions. For many people living with deafness and hearing loss, the lack of face-to-face communication and the increased use of phone and video conferencing has created new barriers and changed the type of support required.

For employees who are Deaf or have hearing loss, there is technology and software available that may be able to help. We’ve set out advice for people with hearing loss on the accessibility features of some of the most popular platforms.

Communication support, such as BSL interpreters and speech-to-text-reporters, can be used remotely but this needs to be discussed with the individual to ensure it meets their needs.

Workplace communication tips

Video and voice call tips

Employees might find it useful to talk to colleagues about how they can best communicate during video and voice calls while working from home. It may be helpful to share these tips:

  • During video calls, make sure you’re in a well-lit area but don’t sit with the light behind you. This can put your face into shadow and make it harder for someone to lipread.
  • Face the camera and don’t cover your mouth while talking.
  • Make sure that only one person speaks at a time. This can also help ensure captions are more accurate, if used.
  • Mute the microphone when you’re not speaking to reduce background noise.
  • Make use of chat functions when using video or voice software. They can help to clarify details, especially numbers.
  • Use an agenda and stick to the order to provide context for what’s being said.

We’ve created a range of free resources that demonstrate these helpful tips.


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