Sunday, September 26, 2010

Communication Strategies For A Person with a Hearing Loss

I want to share this handout I received years ago on Communication Strategies. Maybe this will help you.

Communication Strategies for a person with a hearing loss

- be sure your hearing aid is working properly ( and has a fresh batteries).

- TELL PEOPLE YOU HAVE A HEARING LOSS* this is one that I find with great difficulty to do still till this day. Its hard I don't know why I know I am not the only person that has this problem but I know there are plenty of us that cant just OPEN UP and tell people I HAVE A HEARING LOSS! I am beginning to realize we need to ADVOCATE FOR OURSELVES and its so IMPORTANT it really is because then the other person will never know and then we will be lost etc. So make sure you tell the person from now on that you have a hearing loss. Don't be ashamed and DONT SAY YOUR SORRY LIKE I USED TO DO! Its a very bad habit of mine.

- Sit or stand where you can easily see the faces of all the speakers. For example: When I go out to eat I make sure I sit at a ROUND TABLE so this way if four of us are out I can see ALL four of them. So I don't have to keep turning my head and miss something! IT WORKS GREAT.

- Request that one person speak at a time.

- In a group, sit or stand near the person with whom you most want to speak.

- Move away from noise, background music and other conversations.

-Ask people to FACE YOU when THEY SPEAK* to move their hands away from their mouths, NOT to exaggerate speech, NOT to speak while chewing, and to SLOW DOWN**. Of course ask people to REPEAT if necessary.

- try to be well rested.

- Be aware that how you are feeling ( fatigues, distracted, worried etc.) because this can interfere with your ability to UNDERSTAND the speaker.

Remember: " YOU MUST ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF" thanks to my last speaker from the HLAA meeting. That night I came home I said to myself " he's right" about what he said. It has helped me already. Today I was on the phone for a bill, I told the person " I am deaf can you please speak up" IT DID WORK!!! I have always always to be honest been afraid of this. Finally I am starting to "let go" of that FEAR.

Hope you find this helpful. Feel free to leave comments!!I would love to hear from you.

Have a goodnight I will return tomorrow.



Frieda said...

Great post, Dani! We all need to be reminded to be a little more assertive and tell others that we do not hear very well~

Carla Gomes said...

Thank you for posting this tips. I feel exactly the same as you feel or used to feed. Ashamed and afraid. Since my childhood I have noticed that I was slightly hard of hearing, but over the recent years it is becoming worse, unfortunately. I have done all possible medical exams, everything is OK except for the hearing tests, which means it's probably genetic. This is starting to seriously affect my job, other activities, including leisure, and my social relations. I'm currently a bit worried about my professional future, I have so many plans and it was going so well... I have already realized buying a hearing aid is not a miracle solution, but everyone seems to think so, and they even seem a bit annoyed as if I was being stubborn and just not caring about annoying others (for having to repeat things, etc.). The high frequency hearing loss seems to be the most common, but mine is exactly the opposite. I have been struggling every single day to hear peoples' voices, especially men, and I just can't stand high pitch noices (rings, trains' brakes, airplanes, ambulances, even children voices sometimes...). It's a bit desperating as no one seems to have the same problem and they probably think I must be a bit crazy or something :( So I´m looking for strategies to coping with a disability whith no cure or treatment. This will probably have more and more consequences over the time, I can't say I was prepared for this... but maybe is a way of learning to better understand other people and become a better human being (still a gentle way, after all). It's great to find people who can understand this daily struggle ;) Best wishes and much happiness for you. Thank you!