Yesterday was one of those days…
It was one of those days when I felt totally left out and alone even though I was sitting in the midst of a group of perfectly nice people. I realize that letting people know what I need in order to communicate and understand is just one of those things I need to work on.
I’d typed out a little story about feeling alone during lunch with the other young adults from my church, but I’m reminded that if you want people to read your blog, then you must curb your verbosity. So I’ll give you a list. That’s the trend these days, right? People like lists? However, I refuse to include obnoxious gifs like Buzzfeed. Here goes…
How to Include Hard of Hearing Friends in Group Conversation
1. Always Face Us
It’s much easier to understand someone if they are facing us. For one thing, their voice is directed at us. For another, most hard of hearing people read lips, whether consciously or not.
2. Choose a Quiet Setting
It can be difficult to find places to eat that aren’t loud and crowded. If you must eat out, choose a restaurant that is typically less crowded. If you can’t avoid crowds, choose a restaurant that has good acoustics. Places with cement floors are to be avoided. Carpeted spaces and/or booths are preferred.
3. Slow Down and Speak Clearly
You don’t have to shout! Usually we can hear you just fine. We may just have a hard time understanding what you’re saying. Rather than raising your voice, slow down, and make sure you enunciate clearly.
4. Don’t Just Repeat, Rephrase
If you repeat something and we still aren’t getting it, rather than repeat the same thing a third time, rephrase it. Use different words to convey the same message. For most people with hearing loss, certain speech sounds are more difficult to understand than others. We’re more likely to get what you’re saying if you use different words.
5. Use Visual Cues
Sometimes a gesture, a facial expression, or even a little sign language if you both know the sign, can come in handy when trying to clue your hard of hearing friend in on what’s happening.
6. Know Your Friend’s “Good Side”
A person with hearing loss will often have different amounts of loss in each ear. I personally am profoundly deaf in my right ear and wear a hearing aid in my left. I get nothing out of my right ear, but I am not a cochlear implant candidate. Therefore, it’s preferential that my friends talk to me from my “good side,” that is, into my hearing aid on the left ear, if not facing me.
7. Acknowledge the Limitations of Hearing Devices
Don’t just assume that because someone uses a hearing aid or cochlear implant that they can hear and understand “like a normal person would.” Hearing aids and CI’s don’t just pick up the stuff we want to hear, like the person talking to us. They also pick up all the background chatter, music, drinks being blended, etc. This can be very frustrating.
8. Speak One at a Time
See above. It’s difficult to pick out the voice you want to comprehend when there are three other voices talking at the same time. In addition, if everyone starts laughing but your hard of hearing friend looks confused, feel free to fill her in on the joke.
9. Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full or Your Hand In Front of Your Face
This goes back to the lip reading thing. It’s pretty difficult to lip read someone when their mouth is full or otherwise covered up. Facial hair can create similar issues.
10. Be Willing to Relay a Change of Subject
If the subject changes all of a sudden, and your friend looks a bit confused, be prepared for her to ask what the conversation is about now and fill her in.
11. If All Else Fails, Text or Write it Down
Everyone loves to text these days. Go ahead and text. It’s the one context where it’s perfectly fine and normal to text someone in the same room as you. If you don’t have a cell phone with a text plan available there’s always the old standby of writing using a paper and pen.
12. Have Them Repeat Important Info Back to You
If you’re communicating something really important like an address to meet you at later or an emergency phone contact, have your friend relay it back to you, so you can be sure she got it right.” —
Passed my Quals, :) so now I can get back to worrying about important things, like science and robots.
T-20 till my second and final oral exam…
Freshmen Invasion, ‘sophomore’ invasion week. Karen Beecher cross-stitch.
Ok, first oral exam in T-30 minutes… Wish me luck :)
Lot of comic stuff on my dash lately and it’s made me think of issue 17 of the Jaime’s original run. It’s basically has everything that made the title great in one issue and, to me anyway, is the single greatest comic issue ever written. If I thought there was a chance, I would buy this issue just to get John Rogers and Rafael Albuquerque’s autographs and frame it I love this issue so much. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments with everyone else.