ChEARS Hearing Center of California

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Communication Tips

If you suspect the person you are speaking with has a hearing loss, the following tips may enhance communication:

  • Speak slightly louder than normal, but do not shout, as this can distort your speech and will not make your message any clearer.
  • Speak slowly and distinctly.
  • Get the person's attention before speaking. The best distance for speaking to a hearing impaired person is 3 to 6 feet.
  • Face the person you are speaking with and place yourself at their eye level so that other visual clues can be seen.
  • Never speak directly into the person's ear. This can distort the message and hide all visual clues.
  • Be aware of nonverbal communication; facial expressions, gestures, lip and body movements all give clues to the meaning of the message you are trying to send.
  • Use short, simple sentences. If the person does not appear to understand or responds inappropriately, rephrase your statement.
  • If you see that the person you are conversing with is having difficulty communicating and they do not use hearing aids or other assitive technology encourage them to get help using modern digital technology and/or other assitive technology.