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.