Friday, September 10, 2010

Tips for Communicating With Persons With Hearing Impairment

  1. If necessary, speak louder, but don't shout.
  2. Speak clearly and slowly.
  3. Speak at a distance of between 3 and 6 feet.
  4. Stand in clear light facing the person with whom you are speaking for greater visibility of lip movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
  5. Do not speak to a person with hearing impairment unless you are visible to him or her (e.g. not from another room or while he or she is reading or watching TV).
  6. Move away from background noise.
  7. If a person with hearing impairment does not appear to understand what is said, rephrase the statement rather than repeat only the misunderstood words.
  8. Do not over-articulate. Exaggerating your pronunciation not only distorts the sound of speech, but also the speaker's face making the use of visual cues more difficult.
  9. Do not cover your mouth with a cigarette or hands and do not chew food while speaking.
  10. Arrange the room (living room or meeting room) where communication will take place so that no speaker or listener is more than six feet apart and all are completely visible; communication for all parties involved will be enhanced.
  11. Include the hearing-impaired person in all discussion about him or her. Individuals with hearing impairment sometimes feel quite vulnerable and left out; this approach will aid in alleviating some of those feelings.
  12. Ask what might make conversation easier.
  13. In meetings or any group activity where a speaker is presenting information (church meetings, civic organizations, etc.) make mandatory that the speaker use the public address system.
Republished from: Better Communication and Hearing Aids, D.S. Wayner, PhD and J.E. Abrahamson, MA

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