If you’ve decided to hire people with disabilities, you’re already among many business-savvy, progressive employers. If you are interviewing someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, there are some things you can do to help the candidate. There are also some things to avoid.

DO: Get their attention by touching the lightly on the shoulder. Especially if you are coming up behind them.

DON’T: Exaggerate lip movements or shout. If the person reads lips, they just need you to look directly at them and speak in a normal pace and tone of voice.

DO: Use expression. A person will rely on facial expressions, gestures and eye contact for communication.

DON’T: Shout. This will not help and could be detrimental. Use brief written notes to communicate if necessary.

DO: Use an interpreter is necessary. They can facilitate conversation. However, be sure not to consult the interpreter or regard them as a reference for the interviewee. Speak directly to the person being interviewed, not the interpreter. The interpreter will often sit beside the interviewer and across from the person with the hearing disability.

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