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I am taking a class and the instructor knows I am hearing impaired. The only accommodation I need is to sit in the front and to the left of the classroom and I can do the rest on my own.

Between reading lips and sitting close enough, I never have a problem except in very rare instances.

The problem is that when addressing me, the instructor TENDS TO OVERENUNCIATE AND SPEAK LOUDLY AND IN A STILTED TONE LIKE THIS.

This is both jarring and makes it harder for me to understand anyone speaking this way, as their lips move in an exaggerated fashion, the tone is not natural, and the volume is unpleasant.

Also, it's embarrassing to me, as it looks like I'm being talked down to, or that I'm too dumb to get it.

How do I make it clear to the instructor that she can speak normally without embarrassing her or putting myself in an awkward position?

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How do I make it clear to the instructor that the instructor can speak normally without embarrassing her or putting myself in an awkward position?

I think you just need to let them know. My gut feeling is that the instructor is trying to help make sure you get the most you can out of the class, and is expending too much effort doing so. Either come to the class a bit early or ask the instructor to stay a bit after class so you can talk to them one on one.

Be honest and let them know that you're all set as long as you sit in the front and to the left, as you have already told them. Let them know when they put extra emphasis on the words, it makes it harder for you to understand, and it ends up doing more harm than good.

I think that this tactic will do the trick, and you won't even have to bring up the fact that it's also a bit embarrassing to you. (No need to make them feel bad in this situation)

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    I really like the put emphasis on letting them know that what they're doing is making it harder for you to understand. You can tell them that in a way that doesn't come across as "You're making everything worse!" but instead in a way that says "I still need some help understanding you" which should be less embarrassing for the person at fault. – Jess K. Dec 20 '17 at 17:49
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Talking to the instructor directly should work, but it may be more comfortable for you to have someone else at the school talk to them for you, perhaps a senior faculty member or someone more familiar with your needs, an adviser or "accommodation" person? And it carries more weight coming from their "boss" or special faculty member, and avoids any potential embarrassment on your part (you and I know there's nothing to be embarrassed about, but still sometimes people get nervous & embarrassed anyway).

The key is telling the instructor exactly what you said here:

When they over-enunciate and speak loudly and stilted, it is both jarring and makes it harder for me to understand, as their lips move in an exaggerated fashion, the tone is not natural, and the volume is unpleasant.

They're actually making it harder for you to understand them. I take it you can hear some, and their louder volume could even be damaging the hearing you do have. I'd imagine the only thing you would need is them facing towards you when they talk.

Once they know, they should be happy to comply, it's just that they don't know yet.

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+100

The other answers here are great in that they offer the suggestion of a private chat before the session (or after the current one).

However, the key information is missing in order for the instructor to understand why she shouldn't over-pronounce her words or speak loudly.

Thanks so much for making the extra effort in including me, I really appreciated it. You really don't need to raise your voice with me, just speak normally. I'm good at lip-reading - you can whisper across the room and I'll be able to understand it. As long as I can see your lips moving normally, I can hear you.

If I happen to miss anything during the class, I'll let you know and we can go over it again.

The key thing here is mentioning that you're able to lip-read. Most people understand what this means and should prompt them to re-adjust how they communicate.

As part of this conversation, you can mention that over-shaping the words isn't needed.

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Wait for the class to end, and right before she leaves, talk to her. "Ma'am, there's something I want to tell you." Carrying her stuff and talking on her way to her next class might help smoothen the flow of your conversation.

With that timing, tell her, "The truth is, can you talk to me normally as you would with other students? Overly enunciating words or talking slowly makes it harder to read your lips or make out the words I hear." After your discussion about it, end it with a "Thank you.".

She wants to help in her own way, she just don't how exactly, so she tries what she thinks might work. She won't get offended by it as long as you don't tell her in public.

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