How can I improve communication with masks due to the pandemic, or communicating remotely?

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Be prepared!  The most basic tool in your toolbox is a pen and paper.  Keep this with you when you leave the house. There are also speech-to-text apps that will transcribe what a person says in real time.  You just press the button to start and watch what is being said.  

Many hearing devices now allow for use of a remote microphone. Some even allow your iPhone to BE the remote microphone.  The wireless microphone can be handed to your doctor or a presenter so that you get a better signal above the noise in the room. 

For communication remotely, you could upgrade to hearing devices that allow streaming from a phone or tablet.  This is very helpful for telehealth appointments.   You can also turn on subtitles for Skype for face to face calls or use a caption telephone, available at no charge to anyone who has documented hearing loss, paid for by a grant through the FCC. We can submit an application for the caption telephone for you once you have had a diagnostic hearing evaluation to document hearing loss.