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San Diego State University

Student Ability Success Center

Tips for Talking to a Person with a Hearing Loss

  1. Face the hard of hearing person directly and on the same level whenever possible.
  2. Do not turn and walk away while still talking. When you walk away, the hard of hearing person can no longer hear you or read your lips.
  3. Keep your hands away from your face while talking.
  4. Speak in a normal fashion, without shouting. Speak clearly and more slowly than usual.
  5. If a person has difficulty understanding something, find a different way of saying the same thing rather than repeating the original words over and over.
  6. Speak slowly. Sometimes it is difficult for a hard of hearing person to distinguish between background noise and speech.
  7. Never talk from another room. Be sure to get the person’s attention before you start speaking to him or her.
  8. Reduce background noises when holding conversations – turn off the radio or TV.
  9. If you are eating, chewing, smoking, etc, while talking, your speech will be more difficult to understand.
  10. Make sure that the light is not shining in the person’s eyes when you are talking to him or her.
  11. Recognize that hard of hearing people hear and understand less well when they are tired or ill.


FROM THE HEARING AND SPEECH CENTER OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
1234 DIVISADERO STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94115
415-921-7658 VOICE 415-921-8990 TTY