Let's Talk!

It's only natural for someone with hearing loss to withdraw when communication breakdowns occur. To avoid this problem, let's implement these basic communication strategies. If you as a speaker will meet me halfway as a listener, then I am more than willing to do the extra work it takes for me to have a conversation. I find that it can be lonely having a hearing loss. Let's talk!

  1. Please get my attention before you begin speaking. No fair sneaking up on me. Really, it's too easy to startle me. I will jump every time. Make your presence known.

  2. Face me. Once you turn away, I'm no longer able to hear you.

  3. Do not cover your mouth with your hands. I know this is an unconscious gesture on your part, but I need to see your lips to "hear" you.

  4. Allow me time to respond. Just because there is a delay in my response, that doesn't mean I didn't hear you. I may just need more time to figure out what you said.

  5. Repeat or restate as necessary. I won't ask unless I really need it.

  6. Please get to the point. Long, detailed stories are not for me. Sorry, but if I get lost and your story seems too complicated, I will give up on it.

  7. Written instructions or diagrams are always helpful.

  8. Group conversations are uncomfortable for me. I would much prefer to talk one-on-one. If I leave a group setting, it's because I'm tired and unable to keep up with the conversation, not because I don't like you. I enjoy private conversations in quiet settings.

  9. If we can communicate by text or email, I prefer that over the telephone. If you receive a phone call from me, please know that I am making a special effort to communicate with you.

7 comments:

theblondeview said...

Are you on Twitter? I would love to follow you & converse with you there!

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi,
No, I am not on Twitter as yet.
Thanks for asking.
Sarah

Jim said...

Sarah
Have you seen the other librarian Megan ? http://www.hearingsparks.com/

Jim

Sarah Wegley said...

Oh, yes. Her blog is wonderful. I count Megan among one of my best blog buddies. I'm glad you've found her blog too and given her a shout-out here.
Sarah

Seline Molleman said...

Hello Sarah,
I am a student from Holland and I study media. I found your blog while researching on the movie "Wrong Game". Your blog is really interesting. For school i am researching about how someone who's hard of hearing or deaf experiences horror movies since the sounds are rather important to a movie. I hope you could tell me more about it.
Seline

Sarah Wegley said...

Hi Selene, please take a look at this blogpost where I talk about my experience of suspense in a film with no sound. Something else to keep in mind is that with closed captions, the sounds and music are described along with all the words of the dialog which helps too. Did that answer your question completely? If not, please write back.
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Sarah

Herbysailor said...

Sarah, Loved the story about the siren at the exit door. I am a 71 year young man who has been Hard of Hearing for about 30 years. I once was charged with upgrading a machine at work that was 10 horsepower to fifteen horsepower. When the new one arrive I asked why the new power lines, I was told it was necessary for the FIFTY horsepower machine. Bid difference to say the least. Keep up the good work.