Communication Strategies to Help Those with Hearing Loss
Do you know someone who has experienced hearing loss? It’s important for the person to visit an audiology clinic in Washington or any state for diagnosis and treatment. You should also try to enhance your communication strategies so you can help the person experiencing hearing loss to participate fully in life. Here are tips to help you communicate with a person with hearing impairment in a way that promotes enhanced understanding and eases conversation frustrations.
1. Correctly set the stage.
Here are simple ways to set your stage for proper communication:
- Look directly at your listener – people often need to see the speaker’s lips, and expressions as this helps their understanding.
- Don’t cover your face.
- Get your listener’s attention first.
- Avoid noisy backgrounds- Background noise affects speech perception of a person with hearing loss much more than the speech perception of a person with normal hearing.
2. Get your point across.
- Avoid shouting – Contrary to popular opinion, shouting at someone with hearing impairment doesn’t help the person understand better. In fact, shouting often makes understanding more difficult and unpleasant.
- Speak at a moderate pace, not too slowly.
- Avoid over-emphasizing words.
- Don’t look away, hide your mouth, smoke or chew while talking.
- Incorporate gestures and facial expressions.
- Ask for feedback on how you’re doing.
3. Fix any communication breakdown with an appropriate repair strategy.
Some people with hearing loss may just fake it and pretend that they have understood when they have not. Look out for communication breakdowns to reduce misunderstandings. If you notice communication difficulties, try rephrasing or simplifying what you have just said.
4. Empathize with your listener.
- Be patient.
- Talk to the person with hearing impairment.
- Show due respect and stay positive.
Communication is not a one-way street. However, communication breakdowns occur because the speaker is hard to understand. Make an effort to improve your communication strategies and make life easier for your listeners – whether those listeners hear well or they have hearing loss.