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Audiology: Speaking to Someone with Hearing Loss

Successful conversation means requires all speakers to communicate clearly. Even when a person with hearing loss uses hearing aids and active listening strategies, it is crucial that others speaker involved in the communication process consistently use good communication strategies, including the following, which are applicable in one-to-one chats, meetings, and even presentations:

Ways to enjoy better communication with a hearing-impaired friend

  • Face the person directly and talk clearly—but not loudly—to be better understood.
  • Stand where there is good lighting and low background noise.
  • Speak clearly and a a reasonable speed; do not hide your mouth, eat, or chew gum.
  • Use facial expressions or gestures to give useful clues, but don’t exaggerate your mouth movements and speech; that will confuse some people who choose to read lips.
  • Reword your statement if needed.
  • Be patient, stay positive and relaxed.
  • Ask how you may help the listener.
  • Set up meetings so that all speakers can be seen or can use a microphone.
  • Include the hearing impaired person in all discussions about him or her to prevent feelings of isolation.
  • Say the person’s name before beginning a conversation. This gives the listener a chance to focus attention and reduces the chance of missing words at the beginning of the conversation.