Deaf / Hard of Hearing
A hearing impairment is a hearing loss that inhibits an individual from completely receiving auditory stimuli. Hearing impairments can range from mild (hard of hearing) to severe (deaf). Individuals with a hearing impairment may use a variety of communication methods including: hearing aids, cochlear implants, lip reading, American Sign Language (ASL), captions, assistive devices, or a transcription service.
Considerations and instructional strategies:
- Include the approved disability accommodation statement in the course syllabus. Invite students to contact you if they need disability-related accommodations.
- Some students may read your lips while you are speaking. Make sure to face the students in your class when speaking.
- Repeat questions and statements from other students. If possible, provide important class information in a written format (e.g. handout, email, post to BlackBoard Learn, etc.).
- Incorporate visual aids into your lectures, including captioned versions of videos and films.
- If the student utilizes an interpreter, be sure to allow adequate sightlines for the student allowing them to see you, the interpreter, and the board.
- When speaking to a student that utilizes an interpreter, direct the conversation to the student (not the interpreter). Speak in natural tones and use your normal rate of speech.
- Recognize the length of time it takes the interpreter to translate between your spoken message and its interpretation into sign language. The student may need more time to receive information, ask questions, and/or offer comments.
- If you are working with a student who may also have a speech impairment, take time to understand the student. Let the student know if you don't understand and ask for clarification.
- When in doubt about how best to assist your student, ask them. Remember that confidentiality is important; therefore, it is best to have the conversation in private (e.g. during your office hours).
Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Priority seating that will allow for clear sightlines to the instructor, the interpreter, and the board. Remember to face your class when speaking.
- A written supplement to oral instructions, assignments, due dates and other directions
- Note-taking assistance
- Providing handouts or PowerPoints in advance
- Test accommodations may include: use of an interpreter for directions, use of a word processor, and extended time
- Interpreters or Real-Time Transcribers to provide real-time communication access during class
- Closed-captioned versions of videos and film
- Do-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) - DO-IT is an organization based at the University of Washington, Seattle that works to empower people with disabilities through technology and education.
- National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes - Federally funded project with the mission of increasing career, education and lifetime choices for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.