Hearing loss integration

  • How to communicate
  • Accessibility and Universal design
  • Sensitizing management & staff

How to communicate with persons experiencing hearing loss

point Wave or touch the person's shoulder to draw his attention.
point Don't wave in the person's face or use huge waving gestures if you are close by. A small flapping movement of the hand is usually enough. 
point Keep sentences short and use proper sentence construction.      
point Rephrase, rather than repeat sentences that the person does not understand.    
point Speak clearly so that the person can see and read your lips.    
point Use a normal tone of voice when having a conversation, unless otherwise indicated by the person.   
point Do not smoke, chew gum or let your hair cover your face whilst in conversation.  
point Use facial expressions to correspond with the topic and mood of discussion.       
point Keep eye contact with the person and talk to the person and not to the interpreter/lip speaker/transcriber.  
point Be patient when either you, or the person experiencing hearing loss, have difficulty in understanding or transferring a message.   
point Do not change the subject or change your language in mid-sentence.    
point Use basic signs to support you in transferring your message.     
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Indicate unforeseen happenings e.g. sudden loud music or dogs fighting. 

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Ensure that the light shines on your face from the front. 

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Avoid backlight - If you are standing with your back to a light source, such as a window, the glare may obscure your face and make it difficult for the person experiencing hearing loss to communicate.

point Establish a comfortable distance between you and the person involved in communication.   
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Establish eye contact before beginning communication. This might be considered a “stare” in other cultures, but not in the “culture” of persons experiencing hearing loss.              

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Do not pass between two people communicating. If you have to, excuse yourself before walking through.

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Do not look away during the conversation as that indicates termination of communication.

Downloads

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BASIC INTERACTION HEARING LOSS (Courtesy of NCPPDSA)

Accessibility and Universal design

“Universal design” means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

“Accessibility” is a precondition for the participation of people with disabilities in society as well as for living independently.  Accessibility is a wide concept that addresses the removal and prevention of barriers that pose problems for persons with disabilities in using products and services on equal terms with others, consequently affecting their participation in socio-economic activities.

According to the UN Convention description in article 9, access for persons with disabilities should be ensured to the physical environment, transportation, information and communication including information and communication technologies and systems and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public.

In addition to the United Nations Convention on Human Rights (Article 9), the rights of Persons with Disabilities is preserved in the South African Constitution under the Promotion of Equality and Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000 (PEPUDA), the Bill of Rights (Chapter 2 of the South African Constitution) and provisions are made in part “S” the South African Building Regulations.
 

Download information on:

point Workshop for architects, developers and other building professionals
point Access audits
point Marketing of facilities which are accessible to Persons with Disabilities

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ACCESSIBILITY AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES(Courtesy of NCPPDSA)

Sensitizing management & staff

The consequences of hearing loss in the workplace include:


point Compromised quality of life - Hearing loss can lead to isolation, which will impact one's personal and professional life.
point Tinnitus - This sometimes debilitating condition is characterized by a constant ringing, hissing, or other sound in the ears or head when no external sound is present.
point Loss of productivity - Impaired communication can result in a difficult working environment, compromising productivity on a variety of levels. Studies show that noise is the number one contributor to productivity loss in the workplace.
point Work-related accidents - A lack of communication between coworkers can increase the risk of accidents in the workplace. According to recent data, workers with hearing impairment show 55% greater risk of accident that those without.
point Economic impact - Work-related hearing loss results in million of rands a year in workers compensation payouts and hearing aid purchases.

It is important that hearing loss is correctly managed in the workplace and that the employer is committed to good practice in both the recruitment, management and career development of persons with disabilities, including hearing loss, in the workplace.  By understanding the feelings of persons with hearing loss, employers can ensure that their employees can compete and flourish on equal terms in the workplace.

Download information on:

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GUIDELINES SENSITIZING MANAGEMENT AND STAFF ABOUT CONCERNING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE WORKPLACE (Courtesy of NCPPDSA)
 
 
 
Copyright 2011 South African Hearing Institute .
   
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