Hearing Loss Communication Tips

Get and Keep Person’s Attention

  • Get the person’s attention before you begin talking
  • Be at the person’s eye level; bend or kneel for someone in a wheelchair
  • Stay out of shadows- keep the light on your face while talking
  • Show your face- especially your mouth, while talking; avoid chewing gum, drinking, or eating when talking
  • Stay put- don’t move around while talking

Help Yourself Be Heard

  • Position yourself within 3-6 feet of the person you’re talking to
  • Avoid background noise
  • Speak:
    • Clearly
    • Not too fast, not too slow
    • In a normal tone of voice
  • Keep it short- your sentences, that is, not the conversation

“Say” It Another Way

  • Use facial expressions and gestures
  • Rephrase
  • Write keywords
  • Make sure you were understood- nodding yes does not necessarily mean that the listener understood you
  • Tactfully ask the person what was said or ask leading questions, so you know that your message got across
  • Ask the listener what you can do to make the message easier to understand
  • In a group setting, repeat questions or key facts before continuing with the discussion
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