Using what I discussed in Help Me Understand, I have suggestions to help you understand how to help us:
1. SPEECH SOUNDS tend to sound DISTORTED to the hearing impaired person.
Please slow down when you speak, and speak clearly.
2. Sometimes we just miss one word in a sentence and we need to find out what we missed.
Be aware and ready to answer questions that just clarify, “Did you just say Tom or mom?”‘
And, please just answer that one question. If you have another long dialogue about the differences between “Tom and mom,” now I have a new conversation to try and understand, taking us completely off the original topic.
3. Each person has their own distinct voice.
Please don’t take this personally. If I just met you, please give me time to get used to your voice.
Some folks speak very softly, especially in noisy environments.Please be willing to repeat something you said.
4. Some of us hearing impaired folks really rely on lip reading.
Look the person in the face. Be aware as you are making dinner, or multitasking in other ways, the hearing impaired person might miss some of what you are saying as you are busy moving and grooving. Remember we can’t see your face as you turn away.
Also, remember empathy and a willingness to understand is so helpful. We really do want it to be easier to talk with you!!