How to Talk to People with Hearing Loss (Illustrated Version)

Ask the person with hearing loss what you can do to  improve communication:  

“…perhaps if you stopped talking…”


   Ensure the light is on your face and not behind you: 

“Can you read my lips better now?”


Get the person’s attention before beginning to speak:

“Yo! Sally!”


Speak clearly and at a normal or slightly slower pace.  Do not shout or overemphasize your words, as this distorts speech and makes speechreading difficult:


Facial expressions should match your words, which is helpful when the listener cannot hear your tone of voice:

Gael Hannan @ Better Hearing Consumer
“No, I don’t like that dress and the color looks awful on you!”


Keep your head up, minimize head and body movement, don’t cover your mouth with hands or other objects:


Eliminate sources of background noise that may interfere with good communication:

Noise and hockey
The noise of the great outdoors



  The person with hearing loss using the latest technology  may ask for your cooperation:


“I said, I”m glad to see you’re not trying to hide your hearing loss!”

 Humor won’t correct our hearing loss, but it sure helps us live with it! 

About Gael Hannan

The Better HearingConsumer addresses the personal experience of living with hearing loss. Editor Gael Hannan and her occasional guest bloggers explore every corner of the hearing loss life with humor and poignancy. Comment Policy   Gael Hannan, Editor Gael Hannan is an author, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog at the Better Hearing Consumer, which has a passionate international following,Gael has written two acclaimed books, “The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss”and “Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss”, written with Shari Eberts. She is regularly invited to present her uniquely humorous and insightful work to appreciative audiences around the world. Gael has received many awards for her work that advocates for individuals to become more knowledgeable and successful at dealing with their hearing loss and a more inclusive society for them to live in. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, Canada. Books and other media Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss. Written with Shari Eberts and available anywhere books are sold. The Way I Hear It: A Life With Hearing Loss. Available through online bookstores. Unheard Voices, DVD, vignettes from the hearing loss life. Contact Gael Hannan to order.


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