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Rules of good communication
High and low frequency deafness


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Rules of good communication



Always get the deaf person's attention before you start to communicate with them. This may save you having to repeat things.

Always try and smile when you meet any person with a hearing loss, this will make them feel a little more at ease.

Speak normally - do not exaggerate, speak too quickly, slowly or shout. Normal speech is easier to understand.

Where possible always speak at eye level - not too close and not too far.

Place yourself where the light falls on your face so the deaf person can see your face clearly. Never sit with your back to a window as this creates a shadow over your face.

In a group situation please indicate who is speaking so the deaf person knows who is speaking even if they are using a Language Service Professional.

Keep beards and moustaches well trimmed - if deaf people cannot see the lip pattern it is impossible to lipread you.

Stand still while you speak, do not turn around or cover your mouth. If seated do not hold your chin with your hand, or put pens etc in your mouth.

Be aware of visual distractions, i.e. background posters, patterned clothes, big earrings etc. Also be aware of visual 'noise' like swinging your foot, or playing with your hair.

Make sure the environment is deaf friendly, i.e. no background music, photocopiers, faxes etc - hearing aid users will hear this rather than your voice.

If you are stuck at any time write it down in plain English. Do not use long drawn out words when short ones mean exactly the same, i.e. instead of using replenish use 'fill up'.

If you are booking a meeting with a deaf person consider their communication needs, for example you may need to book interpreters, lipspeakers, palantypists or arrange for a loop system to be available.

If the deaf person has not understood you try and use other ways of communication, i.e. letters in the air, pointing, drawing pictures, gesture, facial expression.

If you are concerned that the deaf person has not fully understood you then ask them to repeat what you have said to them.

Always try to exercise patience. Remember if you get stressed so will the person with the hearing loss.

And lastly please never say "oh forget it - its not important".
It is VERY important deaf people understand what is being said, either at meetings, social gatherings and even with everyday 'chit chat'.

If you have any questions or would like further information on courses or to book training please contact: jeanette@wcts.org.uk

© 2007, WCTS