Everyone deserves to feel included. One of the easiest ways to do this is to engage others in conversation. If they have mild to moderate hearing loss, this can be a little tricky. That’s why the experts at Hearing Zone put together this list of communication tips, so everyone can be included this holiday season.
When Talking to Someone with Hearing Loss
Below are several strategies for communicating with someone who has hearing loss.
Getting and Keeping Their Attention
When starting a conversation with someone who has hearing loss, it is best to get their attention before you start talking. Instead of shouting or clapping to alert them to your presence, simply tap their shoulder or wave your hand until they see you.
Don’t Repeat, Rephrase
If someone is having a hard time understanding what you are saying, don’t just continue to repeat yourself. Instead, try thinking of a different way to say the same thing. People with hearing loss often have trouble hearing specific sounds. Rephrasing gives them a better chance of understanding.
Location Is Everything
Some locations are more conducive to conversations than others. Background noise from the television or radio can make it difficult for someone with hearing loss to separate out speech. In addition, rooms without rugs or curtains often have the worst acoustics, as the plush fabrics are not available to absorb unwanted sounds. Moving your conversation to a quieter room may be all you need to improve your conversation.
Louder Is Not Better
The best way to set yourself up for success is to speak slowly and clearly from the get-go. If they are having a hard time hearing you, resist the urge to talk louder. Shouting will distort your voice, making it even harder to understand what you are saying.
Redirect a Lost Conversation
Even if you follow the tips above, there can still be some communication breakdowns. You can get the conversation back on track by following these simple tips:
- Speak at a normal volume
- Summarize the conversation in a few words to bring someone up to speed
- Spell or write down key words
- Use hand gestures
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Rephrase tricky phrases
- Change locations
If you are still having trouble communicating, the best thing you can do is simply ask the other person if there is something you can do for everyone to have a better conversation experience.
To learn more about communicating with those who have hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact the Hearing Zone today.