Let’s face it: living with a hearing impairment can sometimes be very difficult. It can create some problematic scenarios like trying to guess what is being said or using contextual evidence to guess the opening part of the sentence because you missed the first part and got to the last part only. Also, you do not want others to repeat themselves and make it seem they are being ignored.
People who do not know you have hearing problems avoid saying “no problem” instead of repeating what they said. It can create a strange communication problem in relationships, work environment, family dynamics. It can even make a lot of more simple everyday conversations, like going to the grocery store or the bank, too tricky.
We all want to make our family and friends feel comfortable and stress-free. So here are some great tips to help you consciously engage in conversation with your unhearing friend!
Face the person directly when speaking
Face-to-face conversations make it very clear who you are talking to. Calling anything from another room can be hard to hear. The same thing happens if you look up or down in other directions while speaking in a crowded or loud setting. For people with severe hearing loss, the ability to use lip movements for different contexts should be wholeheartedly welcomed.
Let them know if they miss anything
Would you please do that if you say something and realize it was not heard the first time correctly? Its signals usually come in facial expressions or long answers. Do not be too quick to guess; it is always better to make sure that someone does not skip a part of the conversation than to skip it. If you feel they have lost the switch, give them a little notice when the conversation changes. A friendly reminder is better than ending a conversation!
Do not start talking from the other room
Avoid trying to start a conversation from another room or hall. It is common to have trouble recognizing and locating the direction of the noise. It can also be extra challenging for a deaf or hard of hearing person if they do not know you are talking to them first.
If necessary, repeat what you just said
If a particular word or phrase is not heard correctly, rewrite the original statement rather than raising or lowering your voice. Asking someone to say something over and over again is much less fun than asking. All of this comes back to make sure both parties are in the first place about hearing loss.
Do not shout
Shouting distorted words is never cool; many people consider it rude or angry. Instead of yelling, try rewriting your sentence to add more context or take a short break to make sure the person can see your face. Annunciation is always appreciated, but do not be discouraged and lash out at those who do not hear.
Name the person before starting the conversation
It is always important to get their attention before talking to anyone. But there is more for those of us who are deaf. First, involve them in the conversation by using their first name. Never assume that someone will listen to you or pay attention before seeing you. If possible, once you have caught their attention, engage them in a face-to-face conversation.
Speaking too slowly can make some people feel like defending themselves and lead to an uncomfortable conversation. In comparison, speaking too fast can lead to miscommunication. It is best to talk in line with the previous tips. Speaking is different from speaking slowly!
Reduce background noise
There are often background sounds in public settings that compete with your voice sound. It all depends on where you live as well. The countryside certainly offers an easier-to-hear atmosphere than a city full of architecture. If your current location is too wild, you may be prompted to move to a different setting. In such cases, it is essential to talk face to face with the person.
Help them regain their hearing ability!
Like most surgical procedures, cochlear implants are quite expensive as well. Patients who hail from the middle class or underprivileged section of society have a tough time managing the treatment, in particular. It costs more than a couple of million PKR to have a cochlear implant surgery, which is the general estimate anyways. That’s well above the financial range of most families in countries like Pakistan. However, Transparent Hands is one ray of hope that these patients can rely on, even when things seem hopeless.
This trust organization has found a unique way of helping underprivileged Pakistanis. Transparent Hands is the largest technological platform for crowdfunding in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. It offers a complete range of free healthcare services, including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities, to the underprivileged community of Pakistan. The platform provides visibility to underprivileged patients and builds a personal and trusted bond between patients and donors while ensuring complete transparency. It also sets up free medical camps in the rural areas of Pakistan in which free medical consultation, free medicines, and free diagnostic tests are provided to deserving patients. Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment, and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely.
Transparent Hands has been raising funds for underprivileged patients who cannot afford a cochlear implant by themselves for some years now. So, if you want to help someone unmute the world, donating to a deserving patient’s cochlear implant via the Transparent Hands crowdfunding portal is probably the best step that you can take today. Imagine the difference you will be making in Pakistan!
There is no need to be ashamed about hearing loss; it is entirely natural and ubiquitous. Hearing loss affects all of us at different levels at some point in our lives. It is essential to be open about it on the front end. It helps to improve communication with minimal interruption or repetition. If both parties are on the same page about listening to each other, it will lead to a better conversation.