Hearing tactics are important skills that can be utilized by the hearing impaired or even those with normal hearing in a variety of situations. Position, location, environment, assertiveness even planning are important factors that enhance or detract from the ability to follow a conversation.
Below are a number of suggestions that can be used almost everyday :
- possibly the single most important factor in dealing with a hearing loss. All hearing tactics depend on you taking charge of a situation to maximize your ability to understand.
Place people directly in front of you
- voice is projected straight ahead and reaches both ears
- seeing facial expressions are very helpful - it is said that 80% of communication is non verbal
- hand gestures communicate a lot of information
- sit at the head of the table - this ensures that all people at the table will look at you
Minimize the amount of noise
- background noise is very difficult to compete with, so why not move to another room if there is too much noise, turn off electrical items that interfere - like fans, vacuum cleaners, T.V, etc
- when going out to restaurants try and place yourself away from noisy positions like a kitchen or doorway or busy passage. Ask for quiet corner and don't be embarrassed to mention you have a hearing loss
Ask people to speak slower rather than louder
- just like a jigsaw puzzle - you don't need all the piece of the puzzle to know what the picture is, so to with speech; slowing down enables the listener to fill in the blanks.
- ensure there is enough light in the room, never have strong light behind the speaker. This goes hand in hand with seeing facial expressions.