Good practice to assist individuals with hearing loss in meetings
This good practice guide is to help create an inclusive meeting where individuals may have a range of hearing loss. Some may use assistive technology such as hearing aids and loops, others may lip-read and some may use signing or a combination of these.
If possible, establish with the hearing impaired individual the strategies that are most useful to them.
Good practice for participants
- ensure only one person speaks at a time
- give regular summary of discussion and clarity re progression of meeting eg.to indicate when moving on to the next agenda item
- remind participants of the good practice points below if necessary
All participants to:
- indicate they are about to speak by raising their hand
- speak clearly with good volume and more slowly than normal (to aid lip-readers)
- look up when speaking
- ensure their faces are not obscured by their hands/papers
- try not to block the view of others
- indicate to the Chair when they have missed any parts of the discussion or require a brief summary
Committee Secretaries and meeting administrators to:
- carefully plan the seating in the room. There should be an unobstructed line of vision to all meeting participants as far as possible
- schedule a short break (10 minutes) if the meeting is longer than an hour
Reducing background noise
To reduce background interference and noise, mobile phones should be turned off if possible, projectors and/or PCs only activated for presentations, paper-rustling/rustling food wrappers and pen-clicking, finger tapping etc. to be kept to a minimum.
If papers are tabled, a reasonable period of reading time should be given to ensure those who lip-read do not miss out on any discussion. It will be helpful to the individual with hearing loss to sit where they can see all participants if possible and where the lighting is best for them to help with lip-reading.
Revised October 2015