How to communicate with hearing loss: learning sign language, how to lip-read, and more!

If you can't hear people, how can you listen?

Being able to hear is a huge part of how we communicate. Imagine trying to understand what someone is saying without being able to hear their words!

There are lots of ways that people with hearing loss can understand what someone says. One of the most common ways is called lip reading.

Our mouths make different shapes depending on what sounds, letters and words we say…

It’s possible to understand what someone says by learning these shapes and looking closely at a person’s lips as they speak. Looking at hand gestures and facial expressions, like smiles or frowns, can also help.

Some sounds look the same when you say them, making lip reading hard.

A person can make life easier for people with hearing loss by using something called Sign Language, which is a set of hand shapes, positions and movements that show meaning, like words and sentences.

You may have seen a sign language interpreter on the television!

Another way to communicate without speaking is called cued speech.

Cued speech helps people read lips better by using hand signs to show what letter a word begins with. For example, the sounds ‘b’ and ‘p’ look very similar and can be hard to tell by looking at your lips alone.

However, cued speech lets a person with hearing loss know what the first letter of the word by making a ‘b’ or ‘p’ with their hand. This makes lip reading much easier to understand.

And on TV and online, technology transforms what people say into words displayed on the TV screen! They’re subtitles or closed captions. You’ve probably seen them on YouTube…

Hallux’s Hearing Helpdesk is now open and is answering all of your hearing questions!

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Hallux’s Hearing Helpdesk, with support from Phonak


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