For communication to be successful, it must include the efforts of all the people in that conversation. Even when the hearing-impaired person uses a hearing aid and other communication techniques to maintain the conversation, others must involve actively in the process and use good communication strategies to make them understand better.
Some of the communication strategies are given below:
Face the hearing-impaired person directly from the front. It must be ideally on the same level and also with good lighting. The speaker should ensure that the light is shining adequately on his or her face and not in the eyes of the listener.
Do not talk from another room. Not being able to see will make the communication better and hence will reduce the speech understanding.
Speak very clearly and at a slower pace with distinction for each word. The speaker should not shout the words or exaggerate their mouth movements. Any such activities will make speech understanding poorer.
Always give the hearing-impaired individual an idea about the topic being discussed during the conversation. This will help them to use internal cues which makes the speech understanding better.
Say the person’s name and get their attention before beginning a conversation. It will reduce the chance of missing words at the beginning of the conversation.
Avoid using sentences and words that are too complex. Instead, focus on using words that are more familiar to the individual.
Be aware that the speech may have to be repeated if required. Use body movements and gestures to make them understand better.
Avoid background noise and find a quiet place to communicate with the individual. Reducing background sounds will enhance speech understanding.
Avoid sudden change of topic. Let the person know when you are switching the topic and give them a heads up before continuing with the discussion.
If information like numbers, time and place is being discussed, ask them to repeat it back to ensure that they have understood it completely. Whenever possible it is good if we give such information in writing.
Ensure that you take turns while conversing and also avoid interrupting the speaker.
Also, remember to ask the hearing-impaired individual to see if they have clearly understood the message you were trying to convey.