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Written communication tools

Writing back and forth may be a way to communicated with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Writing notes, instead of relying on speech reading, may reduce misunderstandings. However, it is important to know how well the reader comprehends English. This method may be slower but is effective for conveying short, simple, day-to-day information.

Guidelines for effective written communication and writing options are:

  • Introduce one idea or fact at a time
  • Eliminate any unnecessary words. Be short and to the point
  • Select words commonly used by most people
  • Avoid long, complex sentences
  • Use simple illustrations and label them clearly
  • Rephrase information when necessary
  • Use natural facial expressions and gestures
  • Consider typing on a computer instead of writing on paper.

Examples of writing suggestions:

  • "Eat - when?" for "When did you last eat?"
  • "Work here - how long?" for "How long have you worked here?"
  • "You sick?" for "Are you feeling ill this morning?"
  • "Car color?" for "What color was the car?"
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