Home phone

April 15, 2016

Telephone residentiel

For hearing-impaired people

Before making your call:

  • If you have hearing aids, make sure they are functional (e.g., batteries).

When you want to make a call:

  • In general, remember to use your better ear on the phone.
  • Make a list of answers to the questions that could be asked, or of the questions you want to ask.
  • For example, when making an appointment, the receptionist could ask you:
    • The reason for the appointment
    • The days and times of day you are available
    • The time you would like your appointment
    • If the suggested timeframe is okay with you
  • Eliminate or reduce surrounding noise.
    • Turn the radio or television down, or turn them off.
    • Make sure your dishwasher is not on.
    • Go to a quiet room and close the door.
  • Reduce or eliminate distractions:
    • E.g., when you answer the phone, stop what you are doing (crosswords, knitting, television, cooking).

When you receive a call:

  • If you have a phone display, look at the number of the person calling to help you prepare for the conversation.
  • If you have hearing aids, use them.
  • For other tips for using your hearing aids, ask your audioprosthetist.
  • If you have assistive listening devices, use them (e.g., amplified phone, portable phone amplifier, Bluetooth adapter).
  • If the person at the other end does not know you, tell them you have difficulty hearing.
  • Verify if you understood by repeating the information you heard.

If you did not quite understand:

  • Make sure you know the topic of the conversation.
  • Make sure you know who you are talking to.
  • Say in your own words what you understood.
  • Ask specific questions that lead to closed answers (yes or no). You can also identify a limited number of choices to better anticipate the answer.
  • Ask your partner:
    • To repeat the message more slowly
    • To reformulate what they said
    • To use simpler and shorter sentences
    • To pause between each sentence so you can verify what you understood

Tips to understand the names of people and places

  • Ask your conversation partner:
    • To repeat more slowly and pause between each word
    • To slowly spell the word you didn’t understand
    • To use reference words or categories to verify if what you understood is right: “Summer Street, like the season?” or “Rose Street, like the flower?”
    • To give clues to help you find the word: “Is it the name of a woman/man/street/city?”

Tips to understand numbers

Ask your conversation partner:

  • To repeat numbers more slowly and to say each number separately. For example, for 70 (seventy): 7 (seven), 0 (zero)
  • To say the number that comes before or after: “Is it 6, number after 5?”
  • To count and to stop when the person has the right number

For afternoon times

  • Verify by giving two possibilities: “It is at one o’clock a.m. or p.m.?”
  • If needed, ask people to communicate with you by email or text messages.

At the end of the conversation:

  • Always validate important items by pausing between each piece of information: “If I understood correctly, I have an appointment Tuesday, June 23 (pause) at 10 a.m. (pause) with Dr. Martel?”
  • Thank the person for helping you understand better.

General tips:

  • Stay calm and positive.
  • Persevere even if it is hard.
  • Be assertive.
  • Do not act like you understood if you did not. If you have any doubts about what you understood, change your communication strategy.

For conversation partners

  • When you give instructions (e.g., meeting time and place), make sure hearing-impaired people have understood by asking them to repeat the important items.
  • Answer their questions.
  • Eliminate or reduce the surrounding noise, if any, e.g., turn off the TV or radio.
  • Do not yell. Yelling changes the tonality of the voice and makes it harder to understand.
  • Talk more slowly and articulate each word.
  • If hearing-impaired people do not understand well or ask you to repeat a sentence, do so. If they still don’t understand, say it in other words.
    Sentence not understood: “We will see each other for supper at 6 o’clock, January 12.”
    After modification: “You are coming at my place at 6 p.m. in the evening, January 12.”
  • Spell out words or say numbers one by one, if needed: “I’m talking about Guylaine, G-U-Y-L-A-I-N-E.”


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