Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing receive information in various ways: through an interpreter; through lip reading; or through devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT). The following tips can contribute to the students’ success in your class.
- Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing depend on their vision to watch an interpreter or lip read.
- Ensure the student has a clear view of the instructor or interpreter.
- Standing in front of a light source puts your face in a shadow. This makes it very difficult to read your lips.
- Avoid speaking when the student cannot see your face, such as when you write on the board or walk around the room.
- When referring to items on the board, point directly to the word or phrase you are referencing.
- All videos and video clips need to be captioned.
- Look at the student, not the interpreter, when talking.
- Speak directly to the student, using first person language. Ask, “do you have a question,” rather than “does she have a question.”
- Speak naturally. The interpreter will ask you for clarification or for you to slow down if needed. The interpreter will lag behind you a few words in order to hear a complete thought before signing it.
- The interpreter does not explain, clarify, or give advice about the class material to the student.
- Make sure the lighting is adequate for the student to see the interpreter.
- Avoid private conversations with others in the presence of a Deaf student because the interpreter must interpret everything that is said.
- Provide written announcements for test dates, assignments, and other important information.
- Repeat questions from the class before responding, and repeat students’ answers from the back of the room. A student using a Hearing Assistive Technology device hears only what comes from the microphone, missing anything else that is spoken.
- Do not talk to the class at the same time you are having them read something.
- When an interpreter is being used in class, allow enough time for the student to participate in discussions through the interpreter. It is important that only one person speaks at a time.
- Providing a copy of notes or powerpoint slides in advance to the student and interpreter will aid them in following the lecture. This also allows time for the student and interpreter to prepare signs for specific terminology or unfamiliar words.
Some sample accommodations and modifications may include, but are not limited to:
- Frequent comprehension checks, avoiding yes/no questions after giving verbal directions
- School district will provide and maintain Hearing Assistive Technology (H.A.T.)
- Use visual aids when introducing new concepts (pictures, manipulatives, graphs, etc…)
- DHH staff will provide inservice to teaching staff annually or upon change of schedule
- Teacher will repeat student answers from back of the room or quiet students
- Closed captioning to be utilized during video/media presentations
- Teacher for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing will consult with teaching staff to monitor student’s progress (60 min/year)
- Gain student’s attention before attempting to communicate
- Preferential seating with left/right ear close to sound source and in view of speaker’s face