Five useful tips for communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing
- Lipreading can be difficult if you don’t attract the attention of people you are talking to, if you don’t they wont know you are speaking to them. Wave to them or gently touch their hand or elbow.
- Speak a little slower and as clearly as you can. This will allow them time to lipread and respond to you. It is also helpful if you use normal facial expression and gestures. Don’t shout, this can be painful as hearing aids amplify all sound.
- You cannot lipread if you are covering your mouth. Try to keep your hands away and if you are holding papers try to keep them away from your mouth, move out from behind a computer screen if you are behind a screen.
- Lipreading is difficult, it can be helpful if the person knows the subject you are talking about. Context is very important to them. They may be able to anticipate some of the language you might use. If you are able to provide some written information this may also help.
- If someone asks you to repeat, please do that. Don’t say “it doesn’t matter”,or “I’ll tell you later” it does matter. If you repeat and you are still not understood please rephrase what you said. It might be that you have used difficult to lipread words. If all else fails write down what you said.