Better telephone conversations

Most people take the convenience of their telephone for granted. But people with hearing problems may not even hear it ringing or may have trouble conducting a telephone conversation.

In many cases technical devices can solve some of the problems for hearing-impaired people, but simple hearing techniques can also make it easier for a hearing-impaired individual to have a phone conversation.

Good advice

Here is some simple advice on how to reduce your hearing difficulties when on the phone:

  • Be aware which ear is your better ear and hold the receiver accordingly.
  • Too much background noise makes it hard to hear the person on the other end of the line. Take and make your calls in quiet surroundings.
  • Tell the person on the other end that you have reduced hearing, and ask her to express herself clearly. Focus on doing the same.
  • If you know much about the topic of the conversation but find it difficult to hear everything, ask the other person to spell key words.
  • Do not be afraid to guess what the other person is saying. In many cases you will often be able to deduce the right meaning from the context alone.
  • Use close-ended questions that lend themselves to yes or no responses or short answers. This promotes simple and clear answers.
  • Listen for changes in tone of voice which may indicate whose turn it is to speak.
  • In some situations you could ask a friend to listen for you and repeat to you what the person on the telephone is saying, while you give your own answers.
  • Look into getting phone equipment specifically designed for hearing impaired people.
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