Accessibility

Communicating with hearing impaired customers

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Below is a list of ways to help you communicate with your visitors with hearing loss.

  • Make sure that you have the person’s attention before you start to speak
  • Remember that locations with little or no background noise and with good lighting are the best places for someone to lip-read
  • Face the customer to help lip-reading – don’t turn away while speaking or cover your mouth
  • Don’ t raise your voice – it’s uncomfortable for a hearing aid user if you shout
  • Speak clearly, using plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions
  • Be patient if someone has difficulty in understanding what you say
  • Check that you have been understood and, if necessary, rephrase your remarks
  • Be prepared to write key information down
  • Use maps, leaflets and other written information to assist you to communicate
  • If you have an induction loop system installed, make sure it is clearly signposted and checked regularly
  • If your organisation has not done so already, consider installing induction loops at customer facing points, such as reception/admissions areas

 

More than 40% of hearing aid wearers said that they would ‘go out of their way’ to use a shop or service if they knew there was a hearing loop. (Action on Hearing Loss research)