Communicating With The Hearing Impaired
Tips for Communicating with the Hearing Impaired:
- Speak in a normal voice. Do not shout because shouting distorts the sound of your voice.
- Speak clearly and slowly. Don't drop the endings from words or mumble and don't over-articulate. Pause between statements.
- Use natural gestures and natural facial expressions. Avoid moving around while you talk.
- Speak at a distance of between 3 and 6 feet. Don't make the hearing impaired person read your speech over long distances.
- Stand in clear light facing the person with whom you are speaking. This will make your lip movements, facial expressions and gestures easier to see.
- Make sure you have the hearing impaired person's attention and are clearly visible to him or her before you start speaking. Tapping the person on the shoulder or waving from a distance are acceptable methods for getting a person's attention.
- Move away from background noises.
- Rephrase what you have said when you think the hearing impaired person has misunderstood you. Look for clues, like facial expressions and inappropriate responses. Do not assume that you must restate everything that you have said.
- Do not obscure your mouth and do not chew food while speaking.
- Include the hearing impaired person in the conversation. Tell the person the topic of the conversation; don't force them to guess. Speak directly to and not around the hearing impaired person.
- Arrange the room in order for communication to take place so that all the participants are completely visible to one another. Try to eliminate or reduce background noise.
- Ask the hearing impaired person what you can do to make the conversation easier.