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A number of different factors determine the impact of deafness or hearing loss on an individual.

These include the type and severity of the loss, the age of onset and if the loss was sudden or gradual.

Schooling, life experiences, personality and communication preferences also determine an individual’s adjustment to deafness and their communication style and skills.

Deaf people vary greatly in their ability to speechread. The individual’s recognition vocabulary is a primary factor in effective speechreading, as are the preferred communication styles, amount of experience and practice in speechreading.

Given the visual nature of Auslan, members of the Deaf community can be quite expressive and direct in their communication style. This is generally well accepted within the Deaf community but might be misunderstood by hearing people.

Directness in communication is considered a marker of the Deaf culture. Physical proximity and touch are two other communication markers.

Some extra resources

Learn more about Communicaiton Styles

Explore our communicating visually page to find methods to communicate with Deaf people.

Communicating Visually

Sourced from: Expression Australia (opens in a new window)

Sourced from: Hearing Like Me (opens in a new window)