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

Gael Hannan is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog for, which has an international following, Gael wrote the acclaimed book "The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss". 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, which includes advocacy for a more inclusive society for people with hearing loss. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.


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