Action on Hearing Loss Scotland wants people to take time to include family or friends with hearing loss, and make sure that they are able to follow and take part in conversations. The charity is also encouraging those with hearing loss to make it clear if they cannot hear what is being said and to ask people to repeat themselves.
The charity is highlighting the following deaf awareness and communication tips:
• Make sure you are facing your guest and get their attention before you start speaking – perhaps by waving or tapping them on the arm.
• Find a suitable place to talk, away from loud noise or distractions.
• Start by asking the guest if they need to lipread and, if they do, use natural facial expressions, don’t cover your mouth with your hands or clothing and have the conversation in a well-lit part of the room.
• Speak clearly, not too slowly, and don't exaggerate your lip movements.
• Don't shout as it can be uncomfortable for hearing aid users and looks aggressive.
• Use plain language, don't waffle and check that your guest is following the conversation. If they don't understand what you've said, try saying it in a different way.
Teri Devine, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We are asking people in Scotland to take time to converse clearly with relatives and friends with hearing loss to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy this year’s festive celebrations.
“Often, it is noisy social events that make people with hearing loss feel the most left out, as it can be very difficult to follow conversations. By following our charity’s simple deaf awareness tips, people can reduce the risk of their deaf or hard of hearing relatives, friends or neighbours experiencing social isolation or loneliness during this season of goodwill.”
For information about hearing loss or to request a deaf awareness talk, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone/text: 07388 227407