Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to talk to someone who is hard of hearing

If you have a friend or family member who is hard of hearing, you can work out effective ways of communicating. If talking to a hearing-impaired person is new to you, here are some tips on being a good communicator.

1. Face the person you are speaking to; be sure you have his or her attention before you start talking.

2. It's best not to eat, chew gum, or cover you mouth while talking: it distorts you speech.

3. If you aren't being understood, don't repeat yourself. Try rephrasing what you've been saying.

4. Speak clearly and at your normal voice level. Never shout.

5. If you are in a noisy area, move to a quieter spot if you can.

6. Try not to stand with bright light behind you; the glare makes it difficult to read your facial expressions and gestures as you talk.

7. Naturalness can smooth over rough spots, so relax and be yourself.

8. With practice, your communication with the hard of hearing will become easy and pleasant.

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