Speaking to someone who has lost their hearing can be pretty difficult and, in some cases, frustrating to both the speaker and the listener. By learning how to better communicate with the hearing impaired, the next conversation can go much better for both of you.
1. Directly face the person you are communicating with.
- When talking to someone who has a hard time hearing, it is important to directly face that person when speaking to them. This not only allows that person to read your lips but also gives them room to connect your facial expressions to the conversation.
- Never have anything covering your face when speaking to the other person, as it may cover your lips and facial expressions.
2. Talk loudly and effectively.
- Try to avoid speaking too fast or too slow. By speaking too fast, you could easily throw the other person off and by speaking too slow, you are giving more space for the other person to forget the purpose of the conversation.
- Don’t shout. Shouting can wear your voice out and also distort the noise coming out, making it hard for the person to understand you.
3. Avoid speaking in loud areas.
- It is best to steer away from having conversations in loud areas. This makes it difficult not only for you to hear yourself but also for the other person to hear you.
- Avoid having conversations in areas where you know there will be background music and/or noise.
4. Keep a general topic going during the conversation.
- Keep a general topic flowing within the conversation. This makes it a lot easier for the hearing impaired to have an idea of what could be said just from knowing the general topic.
5. Always pay attention to the listener.
- If you notice a confused look from the other person, you have clearly lost them in conversation. By paying attention to their facial expressions, you can get an idea of how well they are following along with you.
- When you notice a confused look from the other person, stop yourself and ask them if they need you to repeat anything.
Now you have five easy tricks when speaking to the hearing impaired up your sleeve. How will you carry on your next conversation?
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