Tell people you have a hearing loss

Tell others that you have a hearing loss and explain your difficulties. That will make it easier for you to ask them to repeat things. It will also help them to adapt their speech to your needs. 

For example, you can ask people to:

  • Tell you when the topic of conversation has changed
  • Make sure you can see their face and read their lips
  • Move to the location in the room where conversation is most easy for you. For example, you may prefer to have your back to the wall to be able to better focus on the conversation.
  • Speak more slowly

Nicky has had a bad hearing loss since birth. She often finds it hard to communicate. She does not let that stop her though, and she copes well socially. Because she is so open about her hearing loss and willing to stand up for for herself, Nicky knows what it's like to be in both the hearing world and the non-hearing world.

John got cochlear implants late in life. This has improved his hearing and helped him communicate better. As a lawyer, he decided it was best to tell people up front about his hearing loss. That way, they are not surprised. It also helps him to involve others and improve communication between them.

Melanie has had a hearing loss for most of her life. She only started wearing hearing aids in recent years. She feels that the way the hearing aids make her look affects how ready she is to discuss her hearing loss with other people.