Speechreading for People with Hearing Loss
Are you struggling to communicate – even with hearing aids?
We can help. The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is pleased to offer Let’s Talk, a small group speech reading and communication strategies course that helps people with hearing loss – and their families – to communicate better!
What is Speechreading?
Most people with hearing loss use visual cues to help them understand the spoken word. Speechreading involves:
- Watching the lip, jaw, tongue and teeth movements of the speaker.
- Facial expressions, gestures, postures and movements which help convey speaker’s meaning.
- Knowing the topic and context.
- Good vision. With normal vision, it is possible to speechread up to twenty-four feet but five feet is the ideal distance from the speaker(s).
- Emotional resilience to stay confident and committed to good communication.
Why should I take a speechreading course?
- Increased understanding of hearing loss issues.
- Help hearing aids and other technology do their job.
- Develop a range of troubleshooting strategies to deal with challenging situations.
- Share ideas with other people who have hearing loss.
- Become a better communicator!
Speechreading helps put people with hearing loss back in the conversation. Good communication is vital to a good quality of life – CHHA’s Let’s Talk and Let’s Talk Some More speechreading and communication strategies courses offer many resources and the opportunity to socialize with others who are living a similar experience with hearing loss. Find out where your nearest Let’s Talk course is being offered:
If YOU have hearing loss:
- Let others know how to communicate with you; be assertive about your needs.
- Take visual clues from the speaker’s eyes, facial expressions and body language.
- Create the best possible listening environment: well-lit, no background noise, good sightlines.
- Anticipate your communication needs at gatherings, restaurants, etc.
- Ask for key words or topic changes to be written down.
- Do not bluff (pretend to understand); verify and clarify what you don’t understand.
- Take breaks – communicating with hearing loss takes a lot of energy!
When speaking with a person who has hearing loss:
- Get the person’s attention before starting to talk.
- Talk directly to the person with the light on your face.
- Keep face and mouth clear of obstructions.
- Speak clearly, at a moderate pace, with natural enunciation.
- Don’t shout.
- Facial expressions and gestures should support what you’re saying.
- Signal subject changes.
- Rephrase comments or words if necessary.
- Eliminate background noise.
- Ask the person with hearing loss what would work better.