Accommodations for Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Oct 17, 2022, 9:47 AM | Updated: Dec 12, 2022, 11:57 am
This article about accommodations for students is sponsored by Sorenson.
According to the CDC, about 15% of school age students experience significant hearing loss in at least one ear. The severity of hearing loss can be mild to severe, which can create challenges in the classroom. With the right accommodations, however, the student can be on the road to success. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of accommodations available for students who have hearing loss.
Sign language (ASL) interpreters are trained professionals who sit in the classroom with the student next to the teacher. They are there simply to interpret: they do not assist the student in their studies or change the meaning of what the teacher is saying to the student.
A teacher with a student who requires interpretation may be asked to speak slowly to give the interpreter time to translate. Teachers may also be asked to provide lessons in advance so that the interpreter can prepare their vocabulary ahead of time.
Live captioning programs can help students follow along in class. Sorenson’s CART captioning service, for example, converts audio into on-screen text in real time so students can read the instructor’s words. Afterward, the full transcript is available for download, so students can review the session or use it as a study guide.
A deaf or hard of hearing student may request a notetaker so they can give full attention to reading lips or watching the interpreter. These students can also request all assignments in written form. This allows them time to read and understand their assignment.
A notetaker should work with the teacher to ensure they are including key points and takeaways for the student to review later.
Extended time on tests
Hearing loss can impact an individual’s ability to process information, including written information. This does not mean they are slow learners or will have a harder time learning new information.
Extending time on tests allows them to process the instructions and review the options at the speed they need to. This gives them time to pull the information from memory and respects their cognitive ability.
In addition to extending time on tests, students can request to review slides or handouts before a teacher speaks or begins class. This gives them time to prepare for the material they are about to learn.
Schools can provide FM systems that hook-in to hearing aids or cochlear implants. If the student has a mild hearing loss or auditory processing disorder that does not require hearing aids, they may still benefit from an FM system with headphones. Noise-canceling headphones may improve the effectiveness of that approach.
When offered these accommodations students are more engaged, retain more information, and become better with communication. Inclusive classrooms allow for students of all abilities to succeed in their academic pursuits.
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