Communication “Toolbox”

Just as we would prepare an emergency supply kit for our home or car, it’s wise to take a mental inventory of our communication tools periodically – for everyday of course and specifically for use in a pinch when we are not able to communicate using hearing devices.  Sometimes my hearing aid battery just konks out and there’s no way I can change it right then.  I still need to be able to function.  Carrying extra batteries is of course a great idea, but it’s good to have some back-up tools in the proverbial communication “toolbox” too.  Some ideas:

American Sign Language, fingerspelling

Gestures, pointing, hold up how many fingers for numbers


Know where to stand/sit for optimal lighting/least background noise

Have a “script” for announcing your hearing loss and asking for what you need for clear communication: “Hi my name is Jennifer.  I’m deaf and need you to please face me. Thank you!”

paper and writing utensil (crayons count!)

small dry erase board

smart phones (apps with so many uses: captioned relay, FaceTime, Skype, video relay service, voice dictation, Siri, texting, email)

captioning on televisions

captioning at the movies

You won’t necessarily figure it all out overnight but do take steps to decide what you need.  It just takes time and practice!

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