Ways to Improve Communication
Here are some things you or your loved ones can do to improve your communication. You can ask your family, friends and co-workers to pay attention to the following communication strategies for talking with someone who is hard of hearing. You can also consider taking a speech-reading class to improve your own comprehension skills.
Communicating With People Who Are Hard of Hearing
- Get a person's attention. Tap him on the shoulder, otherwise he may not hear you or be able to locate where the sound of your voice is coming from.
- Try not to communicate in a noisy place. The sounds of a TV, music or traffic create background noise and can turn your words into gibberish.
- Talk face-to-face. Like most people, hard of hearing people, consciously or not, use at least some lip reading so keep your mouth clearly visible.
- Keep your hands away from your mouth.
- Talk in a normal voice. Don't shout. In face-to-face communications at normal talking distance, most of the problem is in the clarity of what is heard, not the loudness of the sound.
- If you tend to talk fast, slow down a little. When a hard of hearing person listens to you, he is doing double duty—not only is he mentally processing the meaning of your words but he is also trying to make words out of the often blurry sounds he is hearing.
- Talk clearly. Mumbling or slurring makes your words into blurry noise for a hard of hearing person.
- Don't talk from another room (or even across the room) to a hard of hearing person.
- Don't shout. Usually shouting makes your voice higher-pitched and that is harder for someone with hearing loss to hear.