We have millions of hearing -impaired people in today’s society and the percentage is increasing. Of those affected, less than 20% having hearing aids to improve their hearing. Why?
hearing impairment is a disability that continues to be stigmatized. Consequently, many people equate wearing hearing aids with being old, handicapped or less intelligent.
In order to not attract attention, hearing-impaired people are often passive and more likely to be guarded. Because of the stigma in our society, the hearing-impaired need a good portion of self-confidence to speak about their hearing loss and enlighten others about helpful communication guidelines.
Many people believe that the hearing-impaired have only to buy a hearing aid and that they can hear normally once again. But, although hearing aids offer very essential help, they cannot replace healthy hearing. In order to teach the public about the effects of hearing loss, a comprehensive educational program would be needed regarding the mental, intellectual and physical quality of life of the hearing-impaired.
Short of that, there are a few basic guidelines that hearing people should follow when communicating with the hearing-impaired. When these techniques are adapted, many people would be surprised at the excellent conversation to be held!
- Speak clearly
- Only one person speaks at a time
- Reduce the speaking distance
- Turn toward the listener
- Select a quiet environment whenever possible