Since I completely lost my hearing, it’s kind of opened up a whole new “world” for me. It’s made me see how much people don’t understand how a deaf person relies so much on facial expressions.
Even when I had my hearing, I didn’t realise myself until now. Facial expressions are a big deal to those who are fully deaf. Obviously I’m relying on lip reading as well at the moment but also on how things are getting put across, whether the other person is smiling or if they’re in a bad mood or they just can’t be bothered.
It’s made me see that there really isn’t enough awareness out there to those who are “hearing”. I didn’t realise how much I RELIED on facial expressions until now. Usually, I’d listen to the tone of the other persons voice and hear how things are said.
There really does need more awareness to be raised. More awareness in the work place, for example or lessons in school about disabilities and invisible disabilities. A person is more than likely to come across someone who is deaf/disabled in their lifetime and need to know how to communicate with those people or accommodate to a disabled persons needs.
Do not yell or talk loudly.
Do not mumble.
If the person prefers to use speech-reading, speak normally and avoid speaking too slow or too fast.
Do not over emphasize your facial expressions or lip movements as this can reduce communication
Face the person and make eye contact when speaking.
Be patient and relaxed.
Be sure to ask the Deaf or hard of hearing person for ways to improve communication.
Emailed in by Jessica Carne
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