Communicating to the hearing impaired is different from talking to a person with normal hearing. Therefore, efforts should be made by the people involved in order to attain successful communication. Good communication strategies for hearing loss are a crucial process that everyone must observe if they want their message to be understood by those with hearing difficulty.
Below are some tips to communicate successfully with people who have hearing loss.
Stay Within Their Vicinity
Get your listener’s attention first before you start speaking with them. Once they are fully aware that you want to talk with them, face them and keep your eyes at the same level as their eyes. Maintaining eye contact with your listener through your entire conversation will help them understand your dialogue better by reading your facial gestures and expressions.
Prevent anything that can obstruct the space between you and your listener. Take off your sunglasses, keep your hands away from your face, and most of all do not stay in a place where you are against the light. Make sure your face receives proper lighting so your listener to see your face clearly.
Speak Naturally and Clearly
Although you are speaking with someone who has a hearing disability, never shout at them or whisper when talking. Speak naturally in your normal tone and pace. Ask the person if they can hear you properly. On the contrary, speaking very slowly or mumbling will only make it harder for them to understand because they can’t make out what you are saying if you go at such a pace. Avoid exaggerating your gestures and expressions as this can result in miscommunication as well.
Avoid Background Noises
Background noises can interfere with your speech thus, making it difficult for your listener to hear you properly. When you communicate with someone with hearing loss, avoid places where there are loud noises. Do not go to bars or restaurants that play loud music, concerts, or loud parties. Choose a quiet place to sit down and talk. When you are at home, turn off any appliances or gadgets that are playing to avoid sound distortions.
Use Media or Visual Cues When Necessary
Visual cues may help your listener understand what you’re saying better. Take advantage of the technology around you. They are useful in making your communication clearer and more effective. If you notice that they understand better when you write things down, then communicating with them through writing is the best option.
Make Sure They Get the Right Information
Notify your listener about the topic of your conversation before you start speaking. Stick to it until you delivered all necessary information to them. When switching to a different subject, make sure that you inform them too so they won’t be confused on your discussion. Once in awhile, don’t hesitate to ask them to repeat their understanding and rephrase any important detail that they missed.
Do not proceed to the next topic of discussion if they haven’t fully obtained all the important information of the previous conversation. It is one way of ensuring that they understood you right and wouldn’t miss out any valuable information.
Communicating effectively is the best way to understand each other. People with hearing loss struggle with their communicating abilities, so the best attitude that can relieve them is your patience. They will need your patience and understanding in order for them to relax emotionally, comprehend better, and never lose their self-esteem. Do you need a hand to help you or any of your loved ones communicate well? Feel free to consult us at Beltone Audiology for more tips in communicating with the hearing impaired or give us a call at (888) 210-5846 to schedule a free hearing test.