Courtesy to Hard of Hearing People
Loss and loneliness can come to mean the same thing for hard of hearing people. Too often they begin to feel isolated. too often we stop talking to hard of hearing people or feel embarrassed with them, simply because we don t know how to make ourselves understood. A little informed courtesy can go a long way in facilitating communication with hard of hearing people.
Hearing loss is invisible. Hearing aids are hard to see. Perhaps the person isn t slow or inattentive after all...?
Slower Please, Not Louder
Shouting is embarrassing- and unnecessary. In fact, it can cause discomfort to a hearing aid wearer.
The Nearer, The Clearer
Speak clearly and naturally, perhaps a little slower than usual. Come close when you speak.
No One Has Eyes At the Back of the Head
Many hard of hearing people rely on lip-reading. Wait for them to look at you before you speak. Be careful not to cover your face as you talk to them
Keep It Light
Make sure your face is not in a shadow. Standing with your back to a window or other light source will cause your face to be shadowed. Candlelight is not for lip-readers.
Find out if he or she has a good ear. Speak to that side.
Actions Speak As Loud As Words
A deadpan face is difficult to read. Remember that the tone of voice may not be heard, so use facial expression and body language to help project the meaning.
The Same- Only Different
If you notice that he or she did not catch what was said, try re-phrasing rather than repeating. hard of hearing people often hesitate to ask, so be alert to help them when they miss something.
Now... I See
In conversation, give the listener key words or phrases. Mary was saying that... Maybe even jot down a clue. Lip-reading is easier when you know the subject.
Hearing loss may be the invisible handicap , but the person is still there. Never ignore the hard of hearing person.
Hearing loss need not mean loss of fun. For example, when booking theatre tickets, make sure you ask for seats as close to the stage as possible. Any social event can, with a little forethought, still be part of life.
It s Hard To Hear If You Are Hard of Hearing
Hearing aids do not restore 100% hearing. Hearing aids amplify sound and increase the distance at which the wearer can hear, but they cannot restore lost frequencies. A little patience can go a long way in helping hard of hearing people feel more at ease.