Accommodations | Special
Considerations |Interpreters | Hearing Aids and Lip Reading
Deafness is defined as: "
limitation in the process of hearing which impedes
the educational process and necessitates the procurement of supportive services or programs."
Students in this category usually require oral, steno or sign language interpreters. Skilled
sign language or steno interpreters will assist instructors in communicating with deaf students
in their classes.
seating in the front
of the classroom
to oral instructions, assignments and directions
visual aids as often
speaker facing the
class during lectures
speaker repeating the
questions that other students in the class ask
notetaker for class
extended time; separate place; proofreading of essay tests; access to word processor;
written on the board or a handout
system such as an FM-loop system
where the student can see the interpreter and the lecturer
excess noise reduced
as much as possible to facilitate communication
Classroom discussions are difficult and should be followed by summaries of the relevant
information. Questions raised by other students should be repeated by the instructor for
the hearing impaired students. Videos without captions require a written summary or outline
of the important points. Verbal assignments, due dates, changes in schedule and other information
may be missed by the student and should be provided in writing. Oral tests may be impossible
for the student and can be solved by a written exam. The student may not hear what is said
while the instructor writes on the board. The use of overheads and all types of visual aids
provide better communication.
If the student uses an interpreter, remember to look at the student and not at the interpreter.
The interpreter should be seated so that the student can see the lecturer and the interpreter.
If overheads or videos are used, some light should be left on so that the student can see
the interpreter. Closed-captioned televisions are available from the Learning Technology
Support Center. Discuss with the student other options for videos that are not closed captioned.
A notetaker or copies of another students notes may be necessary, as the student cannot
watch the interpreter and take notes at the same time. Interpreters are professionals with
specialized training, and they will not give opinions about the students progress
in the course. Consideration of a brief break during a long lecture will give the interpreter
and student a much needed rest.
Some students may use hearing aids and lip reading to assist in discriminating sounds;
but only 30 percent of spoken words in the English language can be lip-read. It is important
when speaking to a student with a hearing impairment to look at the student, keep hands
away from the mouth, use shorter sentences, speak slowly, and use appropriate facial expressions
and gestures. Technical and unfamiliar vocabulary should be written down for the student.
Standing in front of a window or a source of glare may limit visibility for the student.
It is not helpful to shout or exaggerate lip movements.