Communications Tips for Friends & Family

Tips for Communicating with Hearing-Impaired Friends and Family

Do you live or work with someone who is deaf or hearing impaired? If you have a friend, family member or coworker who suffers from hearing loss, you may face some communication challenges. But fortunately, there are some tips you can utilize to enjoy improved communication.

  • Position yourself within three to six feet of the other person when speaking to improve audibility.
  • Keep yourself at eye level with the other person and ensure that your mouth is clearly visible, as many individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired will read lips.
  • Get the other person’s attention before speaking.
  • Use facial expressions and gestures to provide added context to your conversation.
  • Raise your voice slightly but do not shout, as shouting can result in distortion for individuals with a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
  • Speak slowly, clearly and distinctly. Also, do not cover your mouth with your hand or look away while speaking.
  • If the individual who is hearing impaired doesn’t seem to understand you or responds inappropriately, try to rephrase your message.
  • Do not speak directly into the person’s ear, as this can result in distorted sound if they are wearing a hearing device. Also, you’re depriving the other person of an opportunity to read your lips and pick up on other cues, like facial expressions and gestures.

If you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from hearing loss, we invite you to consult with one of our hearing care specialists to discuss your needs. We can work with you to optimize communication and address your concerns.

Call 360-892-9367 or contact us for more information.