When you’re communicating with someone who lives with hearing loss, there are many strategies to make things easier and let the conversation run smoothly. Everyone who has hearing loss will vary to the next, their ability to communicate with also vary depending on the level of loss they have experienced.
There are so many helpful and useful ways to help you conversations flow and reduce the chance of miscommunication or communication break-down, follow the tips below for some helpful techniques!
Face the person
Something that may be forgotten, always face the person you are conversing with and gain their attention before you begin a conversation. People with hearing loss often rely on visual cues to help understand when a conversation is being initiated.
Slow down and speak up!
Try not to shout or over-exaggerate your words as it may sound and look unnatural or distorted, however, slow your down speech rate and raise your voice a little.
Reduce background noise
As you can imagine, it’s hard to hear the person next to you when they are other noise distractions around you, this applies to people who have hearing loss too. When conversing, try to find a space with limited background noise so that what you’re saying is the main vocal point.
State your topic upfront
If you’re changing the conversation topic or just beginning conversation, clearly state the topic first. This will help narrow the conversation and reduce the need for clarification.
If you’re still struggling with communication, ask the person with hearing loss how you can modify your communication and adapt to some new methods to improve the effectiveness of your communication.
Tips adapted from Guide Dogs SA/NT
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