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DAERA settles hearing loss discrimination case for £50k

[ad_1] | Rob Moss

A man with moderate to severe hearing loss has settled his disability discrimination case against Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) for £50,000 – paid without admission of liability.

Christopher Morrow worked as a ranger at Crawfordsburn Country Park, near Bangor, Co Down, through an employment agency from 2018 for nearly four years.

His hearing loss means he wears two hearing aids and reads facial expressions and body language to understand people. The acoustics of his surroundings and his proximity to others can also make it hard for him to hear.

When permanent park ranger roles were advertised at the park, Morrow applied for a position indicating on his application form that he had a disability.

Before his interview in February 2021, during the Covid pandemic, Morrow said he asked a manager if he could have the questions written in front of him during the interview to help him hear them and to avoid asking them to be repeated.

This request was immediately refused. He also emailed HR to ask them to ensure that all interview panel members were aware of his hearing loss.

The panel interviewed Morrow in a large room, with a wooden floor and a high ceiling. The interviewers sat behind a screen about 5-6 metres away from him.

He said that one panel member spoke very quickly, with his head down, and Morrow found hearing very difficult in this environment. He was not asked if he needed any adjustments for the…

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