Communication if your vision or expression is limited

Your visible difference may mean your eyes or facial expressions are more limited. You may be concerned that people cannot read your expression if part or all of your face is paralysed or your features are shaped differently, for example. Or, you may feel self-conscious about smiling if you know that your smile is uneven or absent; or about making eye contact if you have only one eye or your eye movement is limited.  

Here are some tips for effective communication:  

  • Try not to hide your mouth or face, or look down
  • Stand tall with your head up, to give people the opportunity to see as many of your communication skills as possible
  • Show that you are smiling – a smile is far more than just the movement of the mouth – your eyes and the expression they show are equally as important – tip your head to the side to show interest and engagement with the person
  • Nod, use hand gestures and nonverbal sounds
  • Use the tone and pace of your voice to show your feeling
  • Use eye contact – this is equally significant with one eye or two, or any limitations
  • Use your whole body to express yourself, as far as possible

People will respond to your whole ‘message’ and pick up information from all the different information you give through body language. Remember – if it’s the first time someone has spoken to you it may take a little time for them to understand your cues – but this is the same for everyone. We all learn to ‘read’ each other better in time.

The talking confidently tool

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Meeting new people

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