For people with hearing loss
Don’t guess what people are saying
For reasons of pride, many people with hearing loss do their best to hide or deny their hearing difficulties. This is a BIG mistake. It doesn’t fool anyone, and it can make you look rather silly. It is much better to be recognised as someone with hearing difficulties than a person with a fading mental capacity. Most people are happy to help someone with a hearing loss, but less inclined to help someone they perceive as stupid.
Hearing loss can be a problem, but it’s your job more than anyone else to take steps to overcome its’ limitations. A positive attitude shown to people you communicate with will greatly improve their willingness to meet you half way.
There are better ways to ask for help
On one hand you could say: “Can you speak up… you are not speaking clearly enough.”
But you are likely to get a much better response if you say: “Sorry, I have a little trouble hearing. Could you speak up a little, because what you say is important to me”.
Be specific with the help you ask for
Be specific when telling someone how they can help you better understand. Here are some examples:
Prevent Difficult Situations, Before They Happen
If you are thinking ahead, you can prevent problems. For example, continuing with our fast food example: plan your order so that all the questions are answered. “I’ll have a double cheeseburger, medium fries and a small coffee, cream and sugar … to go” . Notice how this resolves most of the problem areas. There is no need for them to even ask “Do you want fries with that?”. If you are following the “anticipate” rule, above, you will hear them when they ask anyway. Try not to laugh.
Communicating with people with hearing loss is often difficult and frustrating for BOTH sides of the conversation. Here we have provided some tips to help minimise this frustration, including:
Tips for communicating for people with hearing loss
Tip for people communicating with people with hearing loss
Environment tips to aid communication