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Talking to people with hearing loss

Post: #1
02-16-2012, 04:04 AM
member84075 Offline
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Talking to people with hearing loss

I do not have hearing loss myself, but it's a really common medical issue.

I'm never quite sure how to talk with people that have hearing loss. I have a quiet voice, so I end up having to repeat myself so many times.

Is there anything I can do to make it easier for the listener? ‚Äč



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Post: #2
02-16-2012, 08:39 PM
member84429 Offline
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Talking to people with hearing loss

Yep, there is. For one, face them directly. Not only will that point your audio straight toward them, but it will also give them the opportunity to see your lips move. Not everyone can read lips, of course, but even just being able to pick up a few movements to fill in the blanks of words they couldn't understand can help.

Also, talk a little bit slower and if you know you're talking to someone who is hard of hearing, go ahead and intentionally raise your voice a bit. You don't need to yell, but you do want to put it out there so they don't have to keep asking you to repeat. This can be embarrassing for them, too, and they may avoid having you repeat and just pretend they understand or heard you instead.



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Post: #3
02-19-2012, 10:15 PM
member38898 Offline
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

My husband can hear a pin drop in a quiet environment, but if there's a lot of noise going on around him, he has trouble hearing. He often pretends he's heard, and then gives the wrong response. He does find it easier if people face him as they speak, because he can get an idea of what's being said from facial expressions and body language.



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Post: #4
02-26-2012, 01:19 PM
member47216 Offline
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

Sandra, if your husband finds it irritating, there are hearing aids specifically for cancelling background noise. A friend of friend has one for the same reason. He often only wears it when he is going to be dealing with noisy crowds because it is not a problem of volume. He also hears very well in other situations.



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Post: #5
03-19-2012, 10:31 PM
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

Thanks for the tip, Annmagic. I've already tried to tell him he should see a hearing specialist, but he thinks only old men wear hearing aids. As he's 78 years old, I'm not quite sure what his definition of 'old' is. I'm going to work on him again, because it sounds like it would make life much easier for him.



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Post: #6
04-09-2012, 06:26 PM
member30919 Offline
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

I entirely agree with facing the person you are speaking to and keeping your hands away from your face. It's amazing how many people cover their mouths when they speak.

I have a progressive hearing loss and although I can't properly lip read, it is a great help to be able to see what someone is saying.

I've always said that I'll get a hearing aid when they bring them out in diamante.



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Post: #7
05-09-2012, 12:46 AM
member74418 Offline
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Talking to people with hearing loss

(02-16-2012 09:39 PM)Jessi Wrote:  Yep, there is. For one, face them directly. Not only will that point your audio straight toward them, but it will also give them the opportunity to see your lips move. Not everyone can read lips, of course, but even just being able to pick up a few movements to fill in the blanks of words they couldn't understand can help.

Also, talk a little bit slower and if you know you're talking to someone who is hard of hearing, go ahead and intentionally raise your voice a bit. You don't need to yell, but you do want to put it out there so they don't have to keep asking you to repeat. This can be embarrassing for them, too, and they may avoid having you repeat and just pretend they understand or heard you instead.



Hi Jessi, I'm just curious as to how much of the Deaf Culture and community do you know about? I disagree with what you're saying, if it's someone who's later lost their hearing slowing down a bit may help but for the most part you should talk normally if you get to going too fast they'll ask you to slow down. Also for Heaven sake whatever you do please do not yell at them or even raise your voice unless asked to do so. Many hard of hearing people (hh) you can yell or speak up all you want and they still won't hear you, especially if they don't have hearing aids in.

I just don't agree with this, this is my life, my everyday thing, I teach a class on it and have been involved with the Deaf and hh communities since I was seven years old. The one thing I do agree with is you want to maintain eye contact at all times, because if you turn away from them it's the same as if you didn't talk to someone who greeted you. They would think you were trying to ignore them. Otherwise make sure you always have pen and paper with you as a last resort or if they know sign language, then take the time to learn their language, I think you'll fall in-love with it. I've yet to meet a person who started learning and didn't :) Blessings to you both.




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Post: #8
05-19-2012, 01:08 AM
member45628 Offline
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

I interact often with people like this, but most of 'em are aged folks. My sister learnt sign language as she have a big heart for people with disabilities. Usually if I interact with others who have hearing problem or experiencing hearing loss, I try to talk really slow. Its not they can't hear you but more like they had a hard time understanding what you said due to the speed of how you delivered your words. Its really important to be patient with them and understand their situation.



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Post: #9
07-05-2012, 05:09 PM
member98449 Offline
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

I'm almost completely deaf but I can still communicate with people easily if they're willing to take the proper steps. The number one I would recommend is speaking with good diction. Be very clear and don't drop the ends of your words (You'd be surprised how many people do that without even thinking about it). Also make sure you're facing them. Eye contact is preferred but not necessary. I also wouldn't even attempt it in a noisy environment. All the extra precautions in the world won't help me in a crowded area.



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Post: #10
07-27-2012, 03:17 AM
member2055 Offline
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RE: Talking to people with hearing loss

It never hurts to ask their preferences. One of my best friends told me straight away that she prefers me to walk and sit on her left side so she can hear me. She once went on a date and was too shy to have to date sit on her "good side" and missed half of what he was saying. Sometimes people are too embarrassed to mention their preferences, so speak up and ask!



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