Communication Strategies

Tips for people with hearing loss

  1. Politely inform others how best to talk to you
  2. Pick a spot that is quiet with good lighting
  3. Anticipate difficult situations and try to minimize background noise
  4. If possible, learn possible topics that will be discussed beforehand (lecture topics, friends' interests)
  5. Pay attention to the speaker and concentrate
  6. Look for visual cues and gestures
  7. Let the speaker know how he/she is doing (e.g. ask them to slow down, ask them to not cover their mouth or chew during the conversation)
  8. Admit when you do not understand - ask for the speaker to rephrase or repeat
  9. Ask questions to verify that you have understood correctly
  10. Remember that it is okay to have a sense of humor and do not be afraid to guess

Tips for communication partners

  1. Face the listener directly and use good lighting
  2. Try to avoid or reduce background noise
  3. Get the listener's attention before speaking and ask how best to facilitate communication
  4. Speak clearly and at a slightly slowed pace
  5. Do not shout!
  6. Do not cover your mouth, chew, or smoke while talking
  7. Use gestures
  8. Indicate when changing the topic
  9. Be understanding and patient during conversation

Adapted from "Communication Tips for Use When Talking with Someone Who is Hard-of-Hearing" and "Communication Strategies"