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There are many supports to help you communicate with people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Such supports include interpreters or the National Relay Service (NRS) or other communication strategies specific to that person.

People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing communicate in different ways depending on several factors.

  • The age at which deafness or hearing loss began
  • The type of deafness or hearing loss
  • Amount of residual hearing
  • English language skills / primary language skills
  • Lipreading skills
  • Speech abilities
  • Family and social environment
  • Educational background and
  • Multiple disabilities

Some people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing use speech or sign language only. Some use a combination of techniques.

It is always best to ask the deaf or hard-of-hearing person how they prefer to communicate.

NWDP Tony Web
A Deaf man smiling, in the corner is the Expression Australia logo celebrating 2018 National Week of the Deaf

“Being Deaf means that we have access to a unique and special language. We can communicate with each other and be confident with ourselves by being Deaf leaders in a hearing world.”