Amplified telephones can go a long way toward making phone conversations easier for people with hearing loss, but there are many aspects of communication they simply can’t address. Ultimately, the success of the conversation depends largely on the person at the other end of the call.Hearing impairment is a complex and very individual condition, and there is no “one size fits all” solution. Amplified telephones and accessories can definitely increase volume, but technology alone is rarely enough to solve all communication problems. Here are three important keys to making phone conversations with the hearing impaired successful and pleasant.1. Slow down. This is the number one thing to keep in mind when talking to a person who has any degree of hearing loss. It’s an important factor in even in face to face communications with the hearing impaired, but it’s absolutely crucial when the conversation takes place on the phone. Most people with even mild hearing impairment find that the rate of speech is just as important as volume; rapid-fire talking, even when it’s very loud, tends to turn into an unintelligible river of sound.This is particularly essential if the hearing impaired person is elderly; the older we get, the longer it takes us to process any type of sensory input. Seniors who are hard of hearing are working with a double difficulty and most say that even if they can hear the other person talking, speech that’s too rapid is impossible for them to understand.2. Say each world clearly and distinctly, and leave a tiny pause between your words. In everyday speech there’s a tendency to run words together, and to omit sounds and even whole syllables; these unintentional diction slips are no big deal when you’re talking to people with normal hearing, but they’re a real roadblock when you’re trying to communicate with the hearing impaired.3. Try to project your voice, but don’t shout. When someone can’t hear you, the initial reaction is to talk louder, and that’s fine …. to a point. Increasing your vocal volume by a few degrees will definitely help a hearing impaired person make out what you’re saying, but even if the hearing impaired person keeps saying “what?” or “speak up!”, resist the urge to shout. It will only make matters worse.Shouting, yelling, hollering, or screaming has exactly the same effect on a hearing impaired person that it has on a person with normal hearing. It will make them feel angry, embarrassed, resentful, and possibly even hurt, but it won’t help them understand what you’re trying to say.The normal tendency is for the pitch of the voice to get higher as we speak louder. This is a real problem for most hearing impaired people, who generally find that the higher the pitch of a voice, the harder it is for them to hear. Try to increase volume by projecting your voice from your diaphragm, which helps keep pitch normal. If you’re already talking at what you feel is high volume, try speaking more slowly and pronouncing each word carefully and distinctly.