Some good communication tips that will make a difference
There may be some small changes to your service provision that can make a big difference for deaf and hard of hearing people.
1-in-6 of the population will be deaf to some degree – are your services ‘deaf aware’?
Following a few simple guidelines will increase the accessibility of your services …
- Keep your face in good light and face the person who’s deaf.
- A light source will cast a shadow on your face making lip-reading difficult
- Keep your face clear at all times. Hands, cigarettes and untrimmed beards & moustaches also make lip-reading difficult
- Speak clearly. Do not exaggerate your mouth movements and do not shout, this distorts your lip-patterns
- Cut out as much background noise as possible, e.g. close windows, turn off TVs etc.
- Hearing aids pick up and amplify all sounds. Remember, ‘visual noise’ has to be considered as well!
- Use the most common form of words and do not change from one topic of conversation to another as this confuses a lip-reader
- If you are not understood, try re-phrasing what you said or write it down if appropriate
- If another person joins the conversation, indicate to the deaf person who is now speaking
- It may also be useful to use some gestures when explaining things.
- Remember, gestures and normal facial expressions form part of good communication.
For details on how to make your services accessible for deaf and deafblind people – contact us – for more information.
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