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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