Hearing Impairments

Possible characteristics you might see the student display:

  • Misunderstanding of oral directions
  • Intense concentration on the speakers face
  • Use of loud or distorted speech
  • Requests speaker to repeat or spell words
  • Consistent failure to respond when conversation is directed to the student.
  • Student may have an interpreter or note-taker
  • Odd or off-topic responses to questions
  • Student wears hearing aids or requests you to wear a mike for a FM system

Top 10 teaching strategies to consider

  1. Consider classroom accommodation as soon as you receive the electronic letter of accommodation. Provide seating to meet their needs.
  2. Be aware of your actions. Create an atmosphere of understanding and classroom support. Be patient and repeat as requested.
  3. Be visible and keep a clear line of sight with the student.
  4. Normalize to the presence of an interpreter or wearing a mike.
  5. If speaking 1:1 with a student using an interpreter, talk directly to the student, not the interpreter. An interpreter's role is to relay exact conversations to and from the student.
  6. Use visual communication modes..PowerPoint, online materials or visual aids.
  7. Check in with student. Discuss how the accommodations in your classroom are working. Ask for any suggestions on how to improve communication in the classroom.
  8. Give feedback to the student in both oral and written form.
  9. Frequently write key concepts on the board, or use PowerPoint notes.
  10. A good alternate way to communicate 1:1 (e.g. with out an interpreter or if the student may be without hearing aids for a time) is to sit in front of a computer screen and type or, in a pinch hand, write the communication. If the student is a lip reader speak in a normal voice and don't exaggerate lip/mouth movement.

Check out these other resources:
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/ 

If you would like to read more about this topic see Disability Services: "Faculty Training Tips: Guidance for Teaching Students with Disabilities, Chapter 4, pages 101-108.