City Lit Blog

How you can help people living with hearing loss

Story added 13th Dec 2017


One in six people have some form of hearing loss – here are City Lit’s suggestions for those of us who are talking to others with hearing loss.


One in six of the population has some form of hearing loss, so the chances are you will know someone who will struggle with their hearing.

Hearing aids are brilliant in many ways, but they don't cure hearing loss. Communication and understanding can be difficult for someone with a hearing loss in naturally noisy situations such as a busy coffee shop, a bustling London street, or even in the family home over the dinner table.

How to help someone with hearing loss

When speaking to someone with hearing loss, if possible:

- Find a quiet place to talk

- Face the person you are talking to

- Speak clearly and naturally

- Don’t speak too fast

- Tell the person the subject you’re speaking about

- Be prepared to repeat, or to phrase something another way

- Be patient, it might take a moment to make sense of what you have said

- Persevere  - it will be appreciated; hearing loss can be incredibly socially isolating

- Don’t make assumptions  – hearing loss can strike anyone at any age

Many people struggle to come to terms with a hearing loss; in fact, research from Action on Hearing Loss suggests it can take some people up to 10 years to address the issue properly.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, lipreading is often one of the best ways of helping improve communication and reducing social isolation.

Lipreading classes can help those living with hearing loss manage the issue in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, allowing you to meet others with similar stories, have fun, and improve your lipreading skills.

City Lit lipreading tutor Lorraine Braggins said:

“We’re all able to include someone with a hearing loss by being easier to lipread. It’s just little things that make the biggest difference.

Find out more about lipreading classes at City Lit.