Communication Tips

If you suspect the person you are speaking with has a hearing loss, the following tips may enhance communication:

  • Speak slightly louder than normal, but do not shout, as this can distort your speech and will not make your message any clearer.
  • Speak slowly and distinctly.
  • Get the person’s attention before speaking.
  • The best distance for speaking to a hearing-impaired person is 3 to 6 feet.
  • Face the person you are speaking with and place yourself at their eye level so that other visual clues can be seen.
  • Never speak directly into the person’s ear. This can distort the message and hide all visual clues.
  • Be aware of nonverbal communication; facial expressions, gestures, lip and body movements all give clues to the meaning of the message you are trying to send.
  • Use short, simple sentences.
  • If the person does not appear to understand or responds inappropriately, rephrase your statement.

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