Tips for the Person with Hearing Loss
If you’re a person with a hearing loss communicating with a hearing person, please be mindful of the following tips:
1. Pick an appropriate place to communicate. Someplace with good lighting, little background noise, and few distractions is good.
2. Anticipate difficult situations and enter them with an appropriate strategy. This includes things like trying to anticipate what terms might be used, what questions you might be asked, how to improve the environment. Be proactive and set things up for communications to succeed.
3. Tell the hearing person how she can best communicate with you. She will probably appreciate it.
4. Ask for rephrasing and written key words if you’re not understanding.
5. If you don’t understand something, be as specific as you can be in explaining what you missed. Say something like, “I understood everything up to the name of the street.”
6. Try to arrange breaks if the conversation or meeting is a long one.
7. If you discover that you’ve said something that doesn’t fit the conversation (and you will), use humor to make everyone (including yourself) feel at ease. This doesn’t mean that you should make fun of yourself, but that you recognize that the situation is amusing.
8. Don’t monopolize the conversation. That’s boring for everyone.
9. If it’s just not working, arrange to try again when the probability of success is better, perhaps in a better environment or when you’re less tired.
10. Do not bluff! If the conversation is important enough for you to participate, it’s important enough for everyone to know that communication happened!