As more conversations move online whether for work or fun times with family and friends, video chats have become part of the new norm. Speaking through screens and monitors rather than in person, however, can come with some roadblocks — especially for those with hearing difficulties. Our videoconferencing tips for people with hearing loss can help.
Get to Know the Platform
- Whether using Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Meet, or another option, familiarize yourself with the videoconferencing software ahead of time.
- Exploring the software settings — including audio preferences, screen views, backgrounds, and more — can help you approach chats with confidence.
Optimize Your Environment
- Set up your virtual communication in a quieter area of the house.
- Close the room’s door and — in the case of loud outdoor sounds — nearby windows to curb noise.
- Turn down the TV and radio to limit competing sounds.
- Wear connected headphones, which can help improve audio quality and further block out noise.
- Adjust the room’s lighting and screen’s brightness to aid in lipreading and seeing facial expressions.
Leverage the Features
- Functions such as closed captions can help you follow the conversation in real time.
- The chat window can be an asset — especially in group conversations — to ask clarifying questions if you missed a point or want to follow up.
- Some videoconferences may also be recorded for helpful playback later, so be sure to ask the host, who may need to initiate the recording option.
Maximize the Power of Streaming
Did you know? With today’s sophisticated hearing aids, you can receive audio from your compatible smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, stereo, or other device — directly to your ears, making it even easier to engage in virtual conversations.