Communicating using speech

Many people with complex disabilities, such as a sight and hearing loss, communicate by using speech.

This includes people whose hearing and sight have deteriorated as they have got older. They may increasingly struggle to hear what others are saying, especially if there is a lot of background noise.

Meet Eve

Two woman sitting at a table talking

Living with poor sight and hearing will always be challenging for Eve – as it is for any older person. “It’s awful being with people and not being able to have conversations with them,” she says. Tina, her Sense Communicator Guide, understands that she needs to speak clearly and face Eve when they are talking. They have some lovely conversations!

Clear speech

Clear speech may sound an obvious form of communication, but it’s surprising how many of us tend to mumble or talk without looking at the person we’re speaking to.

Speaking clearly helps everyone – and helps to avoid misunderstandings! It’s especially important for people who have hearing loss.

Remember:

  • Make sure you’re facing the person when talking and don’t cover your mouth with your hand.
  • Speak clearly, talk normally - there’s no need to shout or talk too slowly.

Say hello to Angel

Watch Angel in conversation with Katie from the Sense Buddying team.

Audio description version of Say Hello to Angel with transcript.

Lip reading

Some people use lipreading where they watch the lip shapes, gestures and facial movements of the person they are talking to.

Remember:

  • Make sure you’re facing the person when talking and don’t cover your mouth with your hand.
  • Speak clearly, talk normally – there’s no need to exaggerate your lip shapes, shout or talk too slowly.

Tadoma

Some people with a hearing impairment use Tadoma to understand what someone is saying to them.

They lightly place their hand on the speaker’s throat so that the speaker’s words are transmitted through their jaw movements, vibrations and facial expressions.

Get in touch

Get in touch for information and advice about communication

Contact us