If you’re a hearing person communicating with someone with a hearing loss, please be mindful of the following tips:
1. Get the person’s attention before you speak.
2. Do not put obstacles in front of your face. This includes coffee cups, hands, pencils, etc.
3. Do not have things in your mouth. This includes gum, candy, cigarettes, etc.
4. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace. Speak slowly, but naturally. Do not shout!
5. Use facial expressions, gestures, mimes, and whatever else helps make your message visible.
6. If you are not understood, try to say the same thing using different words. If that doesn’t work, writing a few key words may help the person with hearing loss understand. If that doesn’t work, write the whole sentence.
7. NEVER say “It’s not important.”
8. When you change the subject, be sure the person with hearing loss knows what the new subject is.
9. Do not stand with your back to a source of light.
10. When in doubt, ask the person with hearing loss what you can do to improve communications.