One-on-One Communication

Some Tips and Strategies:

  • Ask deaf or hard-of-hearing employees how they prefer to communicate (e-mail, instant messaging, speechreading, writing, demonstration, etc.).
  • Ask the person how to get his or her attention (tapping shoulder, waving).
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Clearly explain the topic of the conversation and do so again when the topic changes.
  • Encourage deaf or hard-of-hearing employees to ask questions if communication is unclear.
  • Make sure that you ask questions if communication is unclear.
  • Be prepared to repeat and rephrase information.
  • Have pencil and paper available and use them if necessary.
  • Ask deaf or hard-of-hearing employees to review key points of the conversation to ensure understanding.
  • Reduce environmental distractions, such as background noise and movement.
  • Position yourself in appropriate lighting so that your speaking and/or signs can be seen.

Source: National Technical Institute for the Deaf National Center on Employment at: http://www.ntid.rit.edu/nce.