Communicating to a person with a hearing disability should be done in a convenient and understandable manner. Sign language is not the only way to communicate with them. Follow the simple steps below to achieve effective communication with your hard of hearing friends and family using other creative yet simple to comprehend methods.
Get Their Attention First
Before starting the conversation, get the attention of your audience first. Move towards their vicinity or tap them gently on their shoulders. It will make them aware that you want them to focus on you. You can also ask the individual what methods work best for them.
Face Them During the Conversation
After getting the person’s attention, let them know it’s time for the conversation to begin. Face them directly and inform them what the main topic of your discussion is. Maintain direct eye contact with them and make your face expressive. However, do not exaggerate your expressions because it can cause confusion instead. Most importantly, ensure that your face receives enough light so that your expressions are visible to the other person.
Speak Clearly and Normally
Never talk in a fast pace when talking with a hearing impaired person. They won’t be able to understand what you’re saying. On the other hand, talking in a very slow manner will also cause misunderstanding or confusion. Speak at your normal pace, tone, and voice. Do not whisper or mumble words and never shout or yell at them.
Use Creative Media and Gestures
Use gestures to help your audience understand you better. However, if they prefer visual media instead, then do so. Ask them what is more convenient for them. Is it through writing? Will pictures help them get a clear understanding of the topics being discussed? Also, take advantage of the available technology you have like a computer screen or mobile devices for a more efficient communication.
The slightest obstruction can ruin entire information. Avoid background noises because it distorts the sound coming from you, and your audience won’t hear you well. Keep your hands off your face and mouth when talking. People with hearing disabilities will rely greatly on lip-reading or facial gestures to catch up with the topic of discussion. Avoid munching on chewing gum while talking to them because it can also obstruct the sounds of certain words.
Don’t Switch Topics Unannounced
The deaf person should know the topic of the conversation. Before switching to another idea, tell them what the new agenda is about. Always ask them if they get the right information from the previous topic being discussed to ensure they don’t miss out on any important details like the date, time, or place and other general information. If all is good, remind them that you will now proceed with the new discussion.
Communicating When in a Group
The agenda must always be provided to the person who has hearing problems before the meeting or presentation starts. It will make them aware of the things that you will be tackling throughout the conference. The presence of an interpreter, CART and/or assistive listening devices will also be a handful for them. Seating arrangement must be made in a manner where individuals can see each other clearly. Also, make it a rule for everyone to speak only one at a time.
Communicating with the deaf is not so difficult once you learn how to communicate with them. Educating yourself further by enrolling in schools where they teach both the deaf and the person trying to communicate with the deaf will both help you and your loved one improve the understanding of each other. Furthermore, you’d develop a language that both of you can interpret clearly.
Do you need more advice and helpful tips in communicating with someone who is hearing impaired? Do you or your loved ones struggle to communicate with each other because of hearing disability? Allow us to help you. Call Beltone DFW at (888) 958-8432 for more hearing health tips that will surely turn your life around for the better.