Improving Communication: Part 3

Hello! Rode my bike to the Y. Took a couple of classes and rode home. Then it was dog walk time. Right now I could stand a nap! Hopefully I can stay awake enough to write a sensible page. A little wonky? You know why!

I have continued to look for more information on loneliness and poor, social relationships for the visually impaired. You remember, miscommunication because of lack of nonverbal cues.

[If you have not read Sue’s previous 2 pages, I suggest you do that before continuing.  First, there’s Improving Communication: Part 1, then Improving Communication: Part 2]

The Pocklington review ended up saying there are no current answers. They called for more research. Hopefully the increasing numbers of us visually impaired will encourage someone to get on the proverbial stick.

Once again, there should be some sort of manual for this but I cannot find one. (Back to if you want something done right, do it yourself! Anyone want to make topic suggestions?)

An abstract from work done by Wang and Boerner indicated responses in their study fell into two categories. Sometimes the visually impaired adjusted their behavior while other times they just let the relationship go bad.

The group who tried to maintain relationships depended upon a few different strategies. These strategies included explaining themselves more and being more assertive. They also included relying on other senses for information, faking it and being more selective about whom they interacted with.

Remember several articles I read for both vision and hearing impairment stressed the need to share you have a disability. That can be hard for some people although not admitting to a disability can end up being harder in the long run. Sometimes we just gotta accept.

The people who let relationships go of course did things differently. They would withdraw and make fewer efforts to socialize. They would also become angry and tell people off.

As I research this, I keep coming back to the need for work with a good speech and language therapist to improve communication skills. Or at least that is my conclusion. Once again I could be dead wrong.

Quite a while back an Italian study, Extracting Emotions and Communication Styles from Prosody, included some neat charts that are basically a guide to identifying speaker emotion from prosody. Prosody is the pattern of stresses and intonations in speech. For example, joy is characterized by factors like quick meter, quick attacks and slight or missing vibrato.

If these characteristics have been identified and listed, it means people can be taught to recognize them. And if we can be taught to recognize them, we can harness them in efforts to improve communication which just might lead to fewer feelings of isolation and loneliness. Maybe?

….for what it is worth. That’s what I got. If there is a definitive answer out there, I don’t got it. I can’t find it. Anyone have any other ideas, let us know and we will pass them on.

These three pages were in response to an inquiry from a reader. If she knows one person with these concerns, we suspect there are dozens more lurking in the shadows. By addressing her concerns – or yours- we may help others.

Keep those cards and letters coming!?

Next: Comparison Shopping

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