There are over 50 million hard of hearing individuals in the US alone. Some wear hearing aids and some don’t. Some read lips and some don’t. Some know American Sign Language and some don’t. Some were born hard of hearing and some became hard of hearing due to some kind of illness or accident. Being hard of hearing has no age and does not discriminate your profession, education, race or gender.
Jean Nalbantian, Founder and Creator of The Better Connect Academy has been working with hard of hearing people for over 20 years in residential and communication organizations. Every single person he’s spoken to, complained that workers of any type of business do not know how to communicate correctly with them. They speak too fast, too high pitch, they mumble, they don’t face them, they live long and incomprehensible voicemails etc… These challenges cause them to miss doctors’ appointments, understand the wrong amount of medicine to take, not hear the bank teller, not understand how much they owe at the grocery store and more!
From a young age, Jean has been an advocate of groups that needs help. In his teenage years, he’s helped homeless individuals financially, he’s helped clean up villages after suffering mud slides etc… that empathetic character matured in his adult life and after receiving continued complaints from the hard of hearing community, he decided to start a company that teaches people how to communicate correctly with hard of hearing individuals.
The Better Connect Academy teaches staff of any type of business the correct methods and techniques to provide equal communication access for those who are hard of hearing. The online course also teaches face to face and phone communication, tools needed to provide equal communication access, technology, understanding hard of hearing challenges, types of hard of hearing and federal law etc… The course is about an hour long, it is online and after a quiz enrollees receive a certificate of completion/attendance. The course is a Continuing Education course certified by the CPD and the NCAAP.
The Better Connect Academy is only about three years old but it has an important future vision. Once the company is profitable, it will provide donations to chosen organizations that provide services to the hard of hearing community. The current mission is to increase students, secure contracts with large corporations to implement the online course as a “new hire” course and “current yearly training”. We want every business (small and large) and agencies that deal with the public face to face and over the phone to take the course. It supports being ADA compliant per Federal law.
During the pandemic, The Better Connect Academy has also reached out to anyone who is a job seeker to contact them and receive the course for free. The certificate of completion is a valuable addition to their resume, and we feel it can help them stand out during interviews.
The Better Connect Academy also video records the interactions at food drive-thrus and coffee shops. We rate how well employees communicate when placing the order. These recordings are on our YouTube page. We want the public to be aware of the challenges and how they can be corrected.
We strive to have companies and organizations enroll their staff to bridge the communication gap between hard of hearing customers and their staff. Providing equal communication access is not just the law, it’s the human thing to do at your business and anywhere. Anytime you encounter a business or agency where equal communication access was not applied, give them our information.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @thebetterconnectacademy
Youtube: The Better Connect Academy