Search Our Site

Page Navigation

Section Banner

Etiquette for Use with People Who Have Hearing Impairments

When you are with a person who is deaf or has hearing problems:

  • Look directly at the person you are speaking to. If you are working with a sign language interpreter, talk directly to the person who is deaf, not to the interpreter. While working, the interpreter is not a participant in the conversation, but a transmitter for the person who is deaf.
     
  • Don't cover your mouth, and don't create shadow on your face by standing with your back or side to a bright light or window.
     
  • Speak at a slow to moderate rate and don't use exaggerated lip movement. Some people's voices are easier to understand. Women with soft voices can be more difficult to understand.
     
  • If there is a misunderstanding about something you've said, repeat the same idea using different words.
     
  • Keep paper and pen nearby. If communication is difficult, feel comfortable resorting to writing key words or brief phrases—and writing phone numbers or addresses is often a good idea.
     
  • Don't shout—it won't help. Hearing aids make sounds louder, not clearer.
     
  • To get a person's attention, gently tap the Deaf/hard of hearing person on the arm or elbow and make sure they are looking at you before you speak.
     
  • Be aware that being able to hear conversation in a crowd and/or with background noise is most difficult.

For more information contact access @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

Sidebar Content, Page Navigation

 

Updated and Popular

Recently Updated

For Newcomers

Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

Page Navigation