When I started working at my school, within a few months I learned that I was having great difficulty hearing at faculty meetings, particularly when the one, very soft spoken administrator would speak, or when teachers would respond.
1. I asked: “Any chance you can print me a copy of what you will be speaking about at the meetings?” YEAH! Since I am blessed to work with really good folks that’s what we do. If I have any questions, I earmark the topics I didn’t quite fully hear or understand to discuss later.
2. Also, as my hearing has gotten worse, teachers come into my classroom, ask a question, and my co-teacher will answer. I’ve told her I’d appreciate it if she wouldn’t allow others to do that. I also asked my administration to put a short sentence in one of our memos…”Ms Barb has asked us to let you know, if you need to talk with her directly, make sure you are looking her in the face, so she can lip read. Please be aware of, and respectful of, her hearing loss.”
3. Try talking to someone at a summer pool party on a rainy day with about 40 people indoor. Oh man, it was LOUD! So, I found a friend, who has a more significant loss than mine and is in the same boat. We found a legal pad and “chatted” with each other by writing notes back and forth. We wrote out 4 pages worth of dialogue…until he said, “I’m tired of doing this!” I respected the need for a break. But don’t you know…we weren’t done chatting…out came the pens again!! When you find something that works, stick with it!!
How have you learned to modify things so you can communicate better?