The challenge was to provide 60 minutes of Deaf Awareness, to be delivered in a lunchtime session at Bracknell Forest Homes.
Being biased, but we smashed it! Feedback included: “Josie was excellent”, “enjoyed the course, very interesting and helpful” and “Could be longer”.
Unlike other providers of Deaf Awareness, our session concentrated on the needs of the customers who have an acquired hearing loss. With 1 in 6 of the population having some form of hearing loss, the need for good communication skills are always relevant.
Tip 1: Get their attention
Make sure the person with a hearing loss is watching you. Eye contact is crucial. You might need to touch them on the arm to get their focus.
Tip 2: Introduce the topic
Context is crucial and we have a tendency to waffle before getting to the point. Letting the deaf person know “We are talking about this….” gives them a head start and cuts out the amount of concentration and processing they will spend on lip-reading information that isn’t needed.
Tip 3: Repeat, Rephrase, Write it Down
There is only so many times a person will feel comfortable in asking for you to repeat something. So, before everyone feels really awkward, repeat what you’ve said once. Then think of a different way to say it. If your message hasn’t been understood then write it down, using key words.
What do you think of our top tips? Are there others that you think are useful?