Talking to the Hearing Impaired

1. Face the person directly on the same level whenever possible.

2. See the light is shining on your face, not in the eyes of the person with impaired hearing.

3. Do not talk from another room; if you must, make sure the person has heard you call him and tell them what room you are in.

4. Recognize that all people, expecially people with impaired hearing, do not hear as well and understands less when tired or not feeling well.

5. Speak in a normal fashion without shouting or elaborately mouthing the words. Words spoken a bit more slowly are clearer than those that are shouted.

6. Keep your hands away from your face while talking.

7. If you are eating, chewing or smoking while talking, your speech will be more difficult to understand.

8. If the person has difficulty understanding some particular phrase of word, try to find a different way to say the same thing.

9. Avoid talking too rapidly or using sentences that are too complex and long. Slow down a bit; parse between sentences or phrases; wait to make sure you have been understood before going on.

10. If yo are giving specific information, such as time or place, be sure it is repeated back to you by the person with impaired hearing. Many numbers and words sound and look alike.

11. Avoid sudden changes of topics. If the topic changes tell the person with impaired hearing, “We are talking about___________now.”

12. Don’t drop your voice at the end of sentences.


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