1. Always repeat yourself when asked. Do not say ‘nevermind’.
There is no quicker way to cut someone out of a conversation than to refuse to repeat what you said. Deaf people, especially those that read lips, rely on context and need to know everything that they can- even if it takes an extra minute! Remember to talk normally; not too fast or slow.
2. Face the person when talking.
Lip-readers will always ask you to face them when talking. You may not realize that when you turn your head while talking, or down at your phone, it becomes much harder to read lips.
3. Offer a pad of paper or cell phone app if needed.
Not every deaf person can sign or read-lips. Lip-reading isn’t an exact science either… so offering a slip of paper and a pencil can go a long way! Cell phone apps with ‘notepads’ are handy aswell!
4. Learn a few signs.
Starting with something simple like the ABC’s and Numbers can go farther than you think- After learning the alphabet you can introduce yourself by spelling your name! We happen to know this great sight for learning Sign Language…
5. Remember that they are trying hard to communicate with you.
If it ever gets frustrating, just remember that the Deaf person is probably frustrated too. The deaf work hard every single time they communicate to make sure they are heard, heard properly, and understand the other person. Be patient and work with them- they are trying their best! 🙂