COUNSELLING NEEDS IN WORKING LIFE - A SWEDISH STUDY WITH HEARING IMPAIRED EMPLOYEES
Gunnel, A.M.B., Karolinska Institute, Sweden
International research has demonstrated that persons with functional disabilities have a weaker position in the work force and risk being marginalized in their working lives. The degree and intensity of how marginalized an individual may feel in his or her work group can be regarded from an interactionistic perspective as suggested in the present study. In working life, hearing loss may be regarded as a hidden disability, becoming visible in communication, collaboration and human interaction at the work scene. A hearing impairment indeed challenges a persons work situation. A hearing impairment may influence the working situation for women to a higher degree than for the men.Some factors in the psycho-social work environment which may enhance inclusion at the work place and some factors obstructing work environment for hearing impaired employees will be presented, illustrated by some case studies. Handling of differences between employees in the work place is suggested to require a holistic management process that develops an environment which works well for all employees. Some counselling models in working life aiming to enhance the experience of well-being and quality of life will be discussed.