The world's #1 website on hearing and hearing loss
Since 1999

Communication guidelines

Communication guidelines

When you communicate with a hard of hearing person, you have to follow a few simple rules to maximise the communication.

If you follow the guidelines below, you can improve communication to the advantage of both you and the hearing-impaired person.

  • Get the person's attention. It is very important that the hard of hearing person knows that somebody is talking to him or her.
  • The hard of hearing person must be able to see you. Look at each other. Do not over emphasise your facial expressions or lip movements as this can reduce communication.
  • Talk face to face ensuring that your face is easy to see. Facial expressions and lip movements are very important for the hard of hearing person.
  • Do not chew food or chewing gum, or smoke. It makes it more difficult to understand what you are saying.
  • Speak clearly and at a moderate pace. Do not shout or mumble.
  • Do not cover your mouth.
  • Speak one person at a time.
  • Avoid noisy background situations.
  • Rephrase to avoid misunderstandings and situations where you are misunderstood. Certain words are easier to hear or lip-read than others.
  • Be patient and relaxed.
  • If you are in doubt, ask the hard of hearing person for ways to improve communication

 

And remember:

  • Talk to a hard of hearing person - not about him or her.

Please use our articles

You are very welcome to quote or use our articles. The only condition is that you provide a direct link to the specific article you use on the page where you quote us.

Unfortunately you cannot use our pictures, as we do not have the copyright, but only have the right to use them on our website.