There are a number of good communication tactics that you can use to communicate successfully with deafblind people with some residual sight and hearing, these are just a few:
- Never approach a deafblind person suddenly as this may startle them.
- It is best to approach a deafblind person from the front, speaking as you do. Make sure you have the person’s attention before starting a conversation, saying their name in the first instance, then, if they haven’t heard you, try gently touching them on their upper arm.
- Identify yourself by name, then who you are.
- If they have some residual hearing establish which side they may hear better from and speak slowly and clearly into that side.
- Make sure you are facing them and maintaining good eye contact. Try to be on the same level. Never turn away as you speak.
- Keep your face in good light; the person may be picking up visual clues and reading your lips. Do not shout or raise your voice, as sound becomes distorted and may make you look angry.
There are a number of other good practice guidelines when communicating with deafblind people, to learn more and how to use them with confidence, for the range of deafblind people you work with visit the Communication Workshops page.