Communicating with a Person with Hearing Loss

Tips for Communicating with a Person with Hearing Loss

1) No need to shout. 

Please do not shout. When you shout, it doesn’t help. Sometimes, it actually gets too loud, and it is uncomfortable. Raise your voice to a level that is louder than usual, but not so you are shouting. 

2) Don’t speak too slowly. 

When you speak really slowly, it can be confusing and unnatural sounding. It is better to slow down a bit, but not so much that you exaggerate too much. 

3) Face the person—and please, turn off the water. 

Very often, people will try to carry on a conversation with someone who is washing the dishes. This is not fair to either one of you. People naturally tend to “read lips” without realizing it, so face one another when speaking, if possible. Try to avoid having important conversations in places or situations where background noise is unavoidable. 

4) “I can’t hear you—where are my glasses?” 

It is true that a person with a hearing loss will hear better with their glasses on because of lip reading. This also means that good lighting is important—avoid glare and don’t stand so that the person has to look into a bright light to see you. 

5) Try again with a twist. 

If the person misses something, repeat it, then change it slightly and spell any words that are new to the person or difficult to understand. 

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