DEAF/HARD OF HEARING PROGRAM
(Name) County Public Schools
Tips for a Successful Learning Environment
for a Student with Hearing Loss
Accept the student and help the student to adjust.
Investigate accommodations and/or modifications each student
requires. Students with hearing loss vary in what they can or cannot hear,
their individual learning styles, and their educational preferences and
abilities! Some students may benefit from having a "buddy" or
Preferential seating is important for students with hearing
loss so that they make maximum use of residual hearing. Students also
need to be in a location to better view the speaker's lip movements, gestures,
and body language.
Lighting can significantly affect student achievement. The teacher
should be careful not to stand near a window in bright sunlight. This
position puts the speaker's face in shadow. Make sure lighting is appropriate
during all classroom activities, ex: the student needs access to see an
interpreter during movies (in the event they are not captioned).
Speak clearly at a normal (moderate) rate. Speak in a natural
tone of voice. Face the student with a hearing loss directly.
Use facial and body expressions and make frequent eye contact
with the student. Use natural gestures.
Control the pace of classroom discussions and indicate who is
speaking. Be considerate of necessary wait time between speakers or at
the end of a spoken message in case the interpreter is not finished interpreting
Write on the board without speaking, and then face the class
when speaking. Write assignments, new vocabulary, key words and phrases
on the board.
Visual Aids should be used whenever possible. Use the board,
maps, charts, illustrations, and captioned movies. The connection between
illustrations and text is very important. A student with hearing loss
does not have the ability to learn vocabulary and concepts vicariously,
but the student may have mental picture of a concept without knowing the
Make sure the student is watching the interpreter while someone
is speaking. The student does not have access to the information if he/she
is not watching the interpreter.
Make sure the student understands. Do not accept a nod or smile
as an indication of understanding. Ask the student content questions rather
than yes/no questions. Be aware of vocabulary limitations or difficulties
with English idioms. Check to make sure major points and assignments are
Expect appropriate behavior from the student with hearing loss.
Be consistent in disciplining. If a student with hearing loss is signing
to another person, he/she is "talking!" Be careful not to overprotect
Include the student with hearing loss in all class experiences.
Include the student in conversations and encourage the student to join
in group activities.
Allow the student to complete unit related support exercises
rather than "busy work," especially for homework or while there
is a substitute teacher. The student with hearing loss may require more
time and practice for reading and writing tasks. The student will benefit
from concept/unit related practice, especially if they have not mastered
the prerequisite information or vocabulary.
Assist the student in understanding words with multiple meaning,
figurative language or English idioms. Hard-of-Hearing students typically
show about a 2-year lag in vocabulary development and deaf students demonstrate
a 4-to 5-year lag.
Keep in close communication with qualified specialists on the
student's team, ex: the deaf/hard of hearing teacher, the interpreter,
and the itinerant or resource teacher. Keep in close communication with
the family and student. The student may not yet have developed skills
to advocate for himself/herself in a general education setting. Assist
the student in developing advocacy skills in which the student will ask
the teacher for more information, etc.