Communication Tips

Below are some tips for communicating with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

  • It is appropriate to gain the person’s attention with a wave of the hand or a light tap on the shoulder.
  • Position yourself face to face with the Deaf person in a well-lit area.
  • Keep hands and objects away from your mouth and face. The Deaf person needs to see your facial expressions.
  • Inform the person when the topic under discussion is changing.
  • It is often helpful to use pen and paper or a computer to write messages.
  • As you would in verbal communication, periodically ask for feedback to insure the person is following the conversation. Body language, gestures, and facial expressions are all helpful.
  • Use of a qualified interpreter is recommended for the best communication with a Deaf person who can sign. Please see the following tips on how to use a sign language interpreter.