Tips on How to Talk to Someone That Is Hearing Impaired
I have been wearing hearing aids for 3 years now since my kidneys went into failure.
My genetic illness causes problems with my ears. The Genetic Doctor stated that if I had some tests, it would probably show that my ears weren’t formed right in the womb. But also when you have kidney failure it can affect your hearing.
So 3 years ago I decided for the first time in my life to get hearing aids. Growing up I didn’t want to be known that I was “different”, so I learned tricks like reading lips or doing the nod and smile when you can’t hear someone. My hearing wasn’t as bad as it is now, so my speech wasn’t affected too much. But as I got older it get worse, until I ended up in the hospital for kidney failure and almost completely deaf. I knew it was time to get over my reservations of having hearing aids and get them.
Here are some tips on how to talk to someone that is hearing impaired.
- Some people speak louder and slower to people that are hearing impaired. So words are ” How ….are ….. you….today.” Just because I am hearing impaired so that doesn’t mean I need slower speech. It also makes it a lot harder if you speak slower to understand what you are trying to say. Talk normal. Yes a bit louder helps if we aren’t wearing hearing aids but you also don’t have to scream at us.
- Some people continue to mumble no matter how many times we inform them that we can not hear them. If you are mumbling, odds are you aren’t properly forming you words so reading lips won’t work either. Please if you are naturally a soft spoken person (and I understand some people can be.) please speak up. I want to be able to join in the conversation.
- Talking from another room. If the person who is hearing impaired is in the kitchen and you are in the living room, talking to them doesn’t work. You have to either call them over to you or you need to go to them. We can hear our name but we can’t hear everything else. I don’t know why, but I can always register my name if someone calls it. But when someone just says “Can you come here” , my ears don’t register it.
- If a sign is on someone’s door to knock loud, please do. I had one up for my parcels that get dropped off. The UPS , FedEX and Purlator delivery guys are great. They will knock loud. They also know me by now. But anyone else acts like they are afraid to knock. If someone has a sign up, it means they want to know you are there so don’t be afraid to knock LOUD!
- If you are with someone who wears hearing aids, please keep in mind that a busy store or restaurant can sometimes be troublesome. I know with my hearing aids, I pick up a lot around me. So I need the person I am with to speak up a bit more even though I am wearing them. The reason is they can’t always focus out the background noise.
Check out these bloggers for their Five on Friday: