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My top tips for communicating with deaf people

Published Date: 15 Feb 2024

Hi everyone! Today’s post is my advice on how best to communicate with D/deaf people.

Every deaf person is different, and we all have our preferred way that we’d want to communicate by whether that’s British Sign Language (BSL), American Sign Language (ASL), Makaton, spoken English or a mixture of things.

Make sure you find out how the D/deaf person prefers to communicate as this will help them feel more comfortable in the conversation.

Top tips

These tips may not be for everyone, but they're something that I feel is important.

  • Make sure you face the person so we can see your lips as we also lipread. Facing the person also helps us feel included.
  • Do not cover your mouth up as this prevents us from lip reading.
  • Speak clearer not louder!
  • If we ask you to repeat what you said,  please repeat it and don’t make a fuss about it.
  • If possible, reduce the amount of background noise as this impacts how much we hear of a conversation.
  • Hand gestures in the convo can help us understand better what the topic is, even if you don’t know BSL.
  • Facial expressions help us to figure out the mood of the convo.

Having conversations with people is something I struggle with. I struggle with feeling included in them, as if I miss a small amount of the topic of convo, then I feel so lost and have to try to put the pieces together to figure out what we’re talking about. It takes a lot of brain power to hear and figure out what people are saying, so I go home after work feeling so exhausted and overstimulated.

Please make sure you surround yourself with people who will help you feel included and involved in the conversation. I’m very blessed that I have a good support system at my work, and I have my girls I can fall back on if I’m struggling.

Stay safe,
Skye x


Skye (22) is severely to profoundly deaf and uses cochlear implants. You can follow Skye on Instagram at @deaf.empowerment_ where she promotes deaf awareness.