Tips for the Hearing Community
- Using oral communication strategies, a hard of hearing (HOH) person would depend on any residual hearing and speech/lip reading skills to understand speech.
- Visual communication strategies would include using the manual alphabet, Sign Language and/or gestures, and written communication to understand speech.
- Total communication combines visual and oral communication strategies
- Hearing aids can help mild to severe forms of hearing loss, by providing sounds amplification. However, amplification does not mean clarification, and must be used in addition to other communication strategies (lip reading, sign language, captions)
Tips for Interacting with the DEAF/HOH
- Be sure you have the person’s attention before speaking. Try to do this in a way that will not startle the person.
- When speaking with a person who is Deaf/HOH, it helps to ask what their preferred mode of communication is. Some people who are Deaf/HOH may be able to read lips. Others may prefer phrases or words be written down, texted to them, or to have a sign language interpreter present during the conversation.
- If a person who is Deaf/HOH does read lips, speak in a normal tone of voice, look directly at them and speak at a normal speed. Do not exaggerate or overemphasize, as this makes speech reading more difficult.
- If using a sign language interpreter, talk directly to the person and not to the interpreter.
- If you do not understand a person’s speech, ask them to repeat. This is much better than a ‘smile and nod’ when you really do not understand.
- If you know the manual alphabet and other basic signs, use them!
How to get started?
- Interact with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
- Take free ASL Classes at Hawthorne Community Bible School
- ASL Online Resources