The first place is to start with ourselves. We cannot expect others to understand our hearing loss and help us appropriately if we do not understand and/or help ourselves. When we are well equipped with these personal strategies, others can help us appropriately and the result is positive communication.
- Be knowledgeable:
Understand your hearing loss:
• be able to explain the type of loss (eg, high frequency) you have and its severity.
• have your audiogram explained to you and be able to describe the implications of your hearing loss.
• recognize that it is not a temporary problem; hearing loss is here to stay.
- Be realistic:
• know your strengths; use them to your advantage
• know your weaknesses
• where do you set your boundaries (eg size of group, time of day, off-limit locations.
- Keep a positive attitude about your hearing loss. This takes time and effort!
• read about hearing loss
• accept your disability.
• seek counsel if necessary
• seek support from friends and family
• listen to and learn from the successes of other HOH persons.
• use your disability for good
• try humour as a stress reliever.
- Keep a positive attitude toward others:
• give others grace in their forgetfulness and misunderstanding.
• show your desire to make things easier for the speaker
• don’t assume the speaker doesn’t want to repeat for you.
- Be patient with yourself and with others
Author: Flo Spratt