MORE COMMUNICATION TIPS for Late Deafened Adults

Be prepared by thinking about what the topics of conversations might be. For example, keep up on current events, review names before going so they are easier to understand, and anticipate awkward situations with back up plans to solve any problems.

It is ok to ask the speaker to:

  • Please speak just a little more slowly.
  • Please raise your voice a little.
  • Tell him/her what is the best way to speak with you, including if it’s one-on -one or a group conversation.
  • Make a note if the topic changes to avoid confusion

Remind them if they forget and be sure to thank them when they remember. Also, provide feedback to speakers about how well they are communicating.

Only about 30% of sounds can be determined by lip reading. Lip reading is a learned skill and is limited when used alone.
Instead of asking someone to repeat everything, verify what you think you heard or understood. If you are mistaken, they should clarify. Learn how to VERIFY and CLARIFY instead of asking them to repeat.


Person: Do you want to meet Thursday at 3 o’clock at the park?

You: Thursday at three o’clock at the park? Yes, that’s fine!

Person: Yes! See you then!

  • You can avoid confusion by having them write down instructions, addresses and phone numbers, etc.
  • At a workplace, if it’s possible, ask someone to be your communication assistant to stand beside you and write names, key words and important details on a paper for you.
  • It’s recommended to be honest and not to bluff so you can avoid any mistakes.
  • Take a break during parties to relieve the stress of constant concentration. Arrange for frequent breaks if discussions or meetings are long.
  • If you keep interrupting, you may frustrate or antagonize the speaker.
  • If you are unable to understand what is being said, stop them right away (courteously, of course) to explain what you need to understand.
  • If you ask them to speak slower and they keep forgetting (and they will), tell them you will use a palm-down signal to remind them to stay slow. This allows the natural flow to continue.
  • Set realistic goals about what you can expect to understand.