Tips For Talking to Someone Who Can’t Hear

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Do you know someone who can’t hear or is having trouble hearing?  The best thing you can do for them is to convince them to get their hearing checked.  Until they do, here are some tips you that you may find to be useful when talking to someone who has a hearing problem.

If you’re in a noisy environment emphasize the visual.

  • Face the person directly.
  • Spotlight your face (no backlighting).
  • Get their attention before speaking.
  • Make sure they are understanding what you’re saying.  A lack of response on their part may mean they didn’t understand what you said, not that they have nothing to contribute.

Make yourself easier to understand

  • Don’t shout, or raise your voice.
  • Speak clearly and at a moderate pace.
  • Don’t hide your mouth, chew food or gum, or smoke while talking.
  • Rephrase (use different words) if you’re not understood.
  • Use facial expressions and gestures.
  • Give clues when changing subjects.

Establish empathy with the person who can’t hear

  • Be patient if response seems low.
  • Stay positive and relaxed.
  • Talk to a hearing-impaired person, not about him or her.
  • Offer respect to help build confidence.

None of this means that they’re off the hook.  On the contrary it’s important (especially if the person with the hearing loss is a close friend or family member) to make them understand the lengths you have to go to make sure you can talk to them.  Stress how important being able to communicate with them is and how much easier it would be for everyone if they would just take the next step and finally do something about their hearing problem.  Call us today, we’re here and we want to help.

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