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Chicago Beltone | Hearing Health

3 Ways To Communicate With The Hearing Impaired

When you know someone who is impaired of hearing you must exercise caution when communicating with them. People react to things differently. While some individuals with hearing loss are still able to socialize well and remain confident, others may not be as composed.

Some may have grown with low self-esteem and their disability may have worsened the way they interact with others. Others may have been subject to ridicule due to their inability to hear as their peers do.

Given also that they are weak of hearing, you must also communicate with them in a way that they are able to make use of their other senses in deciphering what your trying to say.

Sign Language

This may be as basic as having own signs with your own friend or family member. It isn’t new that households who are not fluent in official sign languages create their own signs to relay information to each other. This also happens to individuals who are close where one or more have a disability in hearing.

Learning those that are accepted and approved by the authority would be more beneficial though since you can communicate with a wider range of people. For the United States, American Sign Language (ASL) is what is dominantly used across the nation.

Make Sure They Can See You

If your dealing with an individual who is only partially deaf and one of you is not fluent in sign language, then you may speak to that individual but make sure they’re looking at you as you speak. They will need to watch the movement of your lips and the expression of your face in order to get a better picture of what you’re saying. Be sensitive of your facial gestures and that it matches with what you are trying to relay to the other person.

Emphasize the movement of your lips when pronouncing your words. It’s no secret that it moves differently for every word or letter.

Remove any obstructions that may prevent the individual from seeing you. This includes caps as it could cover much needed light.

Avoid showing signs of getting frustrated when that person doesn’t hear you well. This may affect their confidence and if this happens too often they may choose isolation over the company of others. As much as you can be patient and compassionate when talking to them and understand that they are doing the best that they can.

Choose The Right Setting

When speaking, as much as possible do so in a quiet environment where there are no other sounds that your voice will have to compete with. Depending on the kind, hearing loss usually also means it’s harder to distinguish sounds from the background noise.

If there is a need to speak to them in a noisy place then gain their attention by tapping their shoulder and using motions to aid in getting the message across. For example you can point at certain things or imitate certain actions you wish them to become aware of.

With the right knowledge, connecting with the hard of hearing becomes easier and clearer. Know a person with hearing impairment who you’d like to communicate better with? Ask professional for more tips. Ken Clark - Chicago Beltone audiologists are equipped to help, not just those with hearing, but their family and friends adjust to their situation. Call us at (888) 485-5452.