For people who have trouble hearing, conversation can be a struggle. Hearing impaired individuals frequently rely on their other senses of sight, touch and intuition to help them understand conversation
By following a few simple suggestions, friends, families and coworkers can help make it easier for a hearing impaired person to use all the auditory and visual cues available to understand speech.
- Get the person's attention before you speak. Mention their name.
- Speak face to face and keep your hands away from your face.
- Speak slowly and clearly, do not mumble.
- Use natural gestures.
- Turn the lights up.
- Turn the music or television down.
- Quiet rooms make hearing easier.
- Say it again using different words, if the person does not understand.
- Be patient. Your attitude is important.
- NEVER say "never mind" if a person doesn't understand what you said. Anything you say matters to the person.
American Academy of Audiology. Sensible Strategies for Better Communication with People who are Hard of Hearing. Accessed March 2008. Available at: http://www.audiology.org/aboutaudiology/consumered/guides/communicating.htm.