Tips for Speaking with the Hard-of-hearing
Communicating with the person with hearing loss requires patience and consideration for both speaker and listener. Here are some tips to make the process more effective for both.
- Face the person with hearing loss directly when you speak.
- Lighting should be directed on the speaker's face.
- Avoid talking from another room.
- Be aware that anyone will have more difficulty concentrating when fatigued or ill.
- Speak naturally. It is more important to speak slowly rather than louder.
- Keep your hands away from your mouth while talking.
- If you are eating, chewing, smoking, smiling, etc. while talking, your speech will be more difficult to understand.
- If a person has difficulty understanding some particular phrase or word, try to find a different way of saying the same thing. Rephrase rather than keep repeating the original words.
- Avoid using long sentences. Slow down. Wait to make sure that you have been understood before continuing.
- If you are giving specific information, such as time or place, ask for repetition by the person with hearing loss.
- Avoid sudden changes of topic.
- Don't lower your voice or trail off at the end of sentences.
Page updated 2/16/09