Tell people you have a hearing loss

Tell others that you have a hearing loss and explain your difficulties. Understanding your needs will make it easier for them to adjust their speech or repeat things for you.

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 a location in a room where conversation is easiest 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 hearing loss since birth but copes very well socially. Because she is open about her hearing loss and willing to stand up for for herself, Nicky knows what it's like to be in both a hearing world and a non-hearing world.

John, a lawyer with cochlear implants, decided it's best to tell people up front about his hearing loss so 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.