Communication with People with Hearing Loss

Successful communication requires the efforts of all people involved in the conversation. Even when the person with hearing loss wears hearing aids, it is critical that others involved in the conversation use good communication.

The following strategies are most recommended to succeed in the communication process:
  • Face the hearing impaired person directly, and position yourself so the light is shining on the speaker’s face.
  • Avoid talking from another room. Ideal speaking distance is no more than 8 to 10 ft.
  • Get the person’s attention first before speaking. Say their name before speaking, so they are focused and ready to listen.
  • Speak clearly, slowly, and distinctly, without shouting. The hearing aids should correct for the volume need, but clarity of the words may be limited due to the severity of the hearing loss.
  • Slow, distinct speech by the speaker can greatly enhance a persons understanding of the words.
  • Try to minimize background noise before speaking. Turn down the TV or move to a quieter area.
  • Keep your hands away from your face while talking and try to avoid eating, chewing or smoking while talking. 
  • If the hearing impaired person doesn’t seem to understand initially, try to find a different way of saying the same thing.