Guidelines for Effective Communication with
Someone with a Hearing Impairment
Avoid interrupting other
speakers. It is difficult for someone with a hearing loss to follow
a conversation when more than one talker is speaking.
Indicate and identify
any change in who is talking.
Avoid calling out to the
listener from a long distance or another room.
information when necessary.
Ask the listener what
types of things make the message easier to understand.
Rephrase when repeating
is not enough.
In group settings,
repeat questions or key points before continuing with the
Slow down but don’t
exaggerate your speech.
Avoid shouting. Speak
naturally, clearly, and distinctly.
Remove obstacles, such
as food, gum, hands, from your face when speaking.
Pay attention to the
listener, so you will notice when she or he seems confused.
Face the listener. It is
difficult for the listener to hear or make use of any lipreading
cues when your face is turned away.
Get the listener’s
attention first by touching the shoulder or raising your finger.
Adapted from ASHA’s
Audiology Information Series, Communicating with people with hearing
For further information about communication strategies for listeners
and talkers, visit the Better Hearing Institute online at
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