A little test for you to read and play with

Tips for communicating with a Deaf/deaf or Hard of Hearing (HoH) person  – there may be more than one answer.

A.  If you start talking to me and I tell you I’m hard of hearing, this means:

  1.  Go away, hearie person.
  2.  I’m incapable of having a conversation because the HoH are demented.
  3.  I need you to scream in my face in order to hear you.
  4.  Face me when you speak to me and speak distinctly, in a normal tone of voice.

B.  If we are in a noisy environment like a restaurant or a bar you can expect my hearing aids to:

  1. Be radar ears so I can hear everything everyone says
  2. Be out of my ears or turned off because the sound is overwhelming
  3. Make all the noise into a tossed salad of sound so I may understand very little.
  4. Irrelevant, since all Deaf/deaf/HoH people read lips anyway.

C.  When I don’t hear you, what are your best options?

  1. Say, “Never mind” since it wasn’t important anyway
  2.  Face me and repeat the word or sentence clearly and distinctly
  3. Write it on a piece of paper.
  4. Sign it in ASL, even if you have to finger spell it – slowly

D.  If I come to your restaurant and mention I am HoH do you:

  1. Quickly get me a braille menu?
  2. Get me a wheelchair?
  3. Get me a pen and paper?
  4. Get me a menu, then face me when you talk to me and speak distinctly?

E.  If I am somewhere with my interpreters and you find us annoying, do you:

  1. Yell at an interpreter and tell them to get away from you?
  2. Yell at the manager that those deaf people are ruining your evening out?
  3. Come over and tell me to leave so you can enjoy your evening?
  4. Quietly ask the manager to seat you in a different location that is less distracting for you?

F.  If you want to talk to a Hard of Hearing person who is facing away from you, do you:

  1. Grab them and turn them around, after all they’re used to this.
  2. Tap them on the shoulder and wait for them to respond.
  3. Walk around in front of them, place your hand within the visual field of the person,  palm down and gently waggle it up and down to get their attention.
  4. Walk around in front of them and wait to see how long it takes to be noticed.


No cheating












Arn’t you glad you waited?

A.  4

B. 3

C. 2, 3, or 4

D. 4.

E. 4.

F 2 or 3

So, how did you do?



  1. well, speaking as I am Deaf, and used to be HoH, I did really well… although I do have a few changes… from my own personal experiance.
    B. I would also think that (from someone who use to have recruitment when there was some sembalance of hearing) “Be out of my ears or turned off because the sound is overwhelming” would have also been acceptable.
    D. My favorite would have actually been the pen and paper, because then I don’t have to voice, and I don’t have to piece missing words together with the words that may or may not have been correct in the first place.

    Good Quiz!

    1. I considered adding “Be out of my ears or turned off because the sound is overwhelming” because sometimes I do that, but most of the oral deaf I know who wear hearing aids never do that so I thought I was the exception to the general rule.

      Sometimes, when things are really tough, I make people spell for me – which is often easier with paper. I think paper/pen is a better option for the deaf/Deaf than those with moderate to severe hearing loss. Depends.

      I do know someone with severe hearing loss whose first option after one repeat is paper and pen – which he carries with him everywhere – little notebook in his back pocket and a pen tucked in a shirt pocket.

      Thanks for the comments. Maybe I’ll come up with a test including “all the above” and have all the above be options.

  2. This one really gets under my skin: “When I don’t hear you, what are your best options? Say, “Never mind” since it wasn’t important anyway”. Drives me crazy…

    And this one actually happened to me on an Air Canada Flight: “If I come to your restaurant and mention I am HoH do you: Quickly get me a braille menu?”

    Nice quiz! I like the combination of humour, sad reality and practical advice.

    1. You are fortunate they did not offer you an incontinence pad. aThat happened to my ex (who was blind) all the time when riding on an airplane. They also wanted to load him and offload in him in a wheelchair – and they spoke really loudly to him as if he were seriously hard of hearing. It is as if the deaf, deaf-blind, and blind are all sort of lumped together and considered to have brain damage.

      My response to “Never mind….” is usually to insist they tell me because if it was not something I should hear they’d not have said it to me in the first place. It sort of depends on now important the relationship is because this can get contentious really fast.

      My blind ex used to be able to tell by my questions, when I knew what I heard could not be what he said and he would wheedle it out of me only to laugh. After awhile I just didn’t let him know when I could not understand him. If he later asked why I didn’t do something I’d say (honestly) I never heard you say that. At which point he’d get exasperated and ask me why I didn’t tell him I didn’t understand and I’d respond that I didn’t appreciate being laughed at. And so it goes.

      If I don’t do something I’m asked to do my roomie assumes I (a) didn’t hear it or (b) didn’t understand what she said. Good assumption, since she has a very hoarse voice that is hard to hear. Not her fault. Not my fault. Just what is. And she has the good grace not to laugh at me when I give her an answer to a question she didn’t ask.

    2. Oh, and the thing I go ballistic over is if someone grabs me from behind. Not taps me on the shoulder – grabs me as if I am their 2 year old who is running out into traffic. Not only is it bad manners, it is frightening, and it is also battery. I recently had someone do that and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be assaulted or what was going on. I’m still reverberating from that one. She’s lucky I didn’t punch her lights out in a total terror reaction. It was a close thing.

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