Deaf and Blind
Deafblindness is the loss of both sight and hearing to the point where someone’s communication, mobility and ability to access information are impacted. The person may have some level of sight and hearing. https://deafblind.org.uk
- Check that you are in the best position to communicate; try to avoid noisy places, excessive background noise and poor lighting. Adapt the conditions to suit the customer.
- Check how the customer prefers to communicate and whether they have any special requirements. Many deafblind people can communicate with clear speech.
- Make sure you have the person’s attention before trying to communicate with them. Approach them from the front and clearly ask them: “Can I help you?” You could also gently touch their arm between the shoulder and the wrist to get their attention without
- Identify yourself clearly, this may include showing the individual your badge and / or writing down your name.
- If you’re sitting someone down, choose a seat where the customer has their back to a wall to ensure that no one passes or talks behind them, which could be distracting.
- Keep your face visible and don’t cover your mouth.
- Use simple gestures and facial expressions to support what you are saying. Be ready and willing to repeat phrases as asked or re- phrase the sentence.
- Try writing things down; you might need to experiment with different sizes of letters and different coloured paper and pens.
- Technology may help; a mobile phone could assist with two way communication as font sizes and colours can be altered. The deafblind person may also use other apps that aid their communication.
- Speak clearly and a little slower but don't shout. Keep your lip- pattern and rhythm normal; don’t over-exaggerate.