Things you should not do when talking to a deaf person

This week is Deaf Awareness Week and there are still a lot of us out there who don’t know how to talk to people who are deaf and this can come across as pretty offensive.

Like some people still think that shouting at a person with hearing loss is acceptable. The next time you are with someone who is affected by hearing loss, try to avoid doing these things.

Don’t cover your mouth because a lot of people who are deaf use lipreading to understand people they are talking to. Don’t exaggerate your lip movements or speak slowly. This makes it harder to lipread.

Don’t exaggerate your facial expressions and gestures. This kind of behaviour can come across as offensive.

There might be a word or a phrase you use that the person with hearing loss doesn’t understand. If they tell you, make sure that you do not repeat that word or phrase over and over again. Try using a different word.

Avoid shouting as this is rude and comes across as aggressive.

Don't use too many words while speaking. Don't use 10 words when one will do. Use simple language and make sure you are both participating in the conversation.

Don’t sit in dark area next to a loudspeaker. If you’re going on a date at a restaurant, think about where you are both going to sit or stand. Sitting near a loudspeaker, or a large group of noisy people should be avoided.

Just because someone is wearing hearing aids, it doesn’t mean they can hear you perfectly.

You might be speaking to a group of people with different hearing abilities. If this is the case, don’t just speak to the hearing people and ignore everyone else. This is going to make the people or person with hearing difficulties feel excluded.

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