Tips for Teaching Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing receive information in various ways: through an interpreter; through lip reading; through an assistive listening device (ALD); or through C-Print or a similar system of speech to print. The following tips can contribute to the student’s success in your class.

Classroom

  • 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.

Interpreters

  • 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.

Teaching Strategies

  • Provide written announcements for test dates, assignments and other important information.
     
  • Repeat questions from the class before responding. A student using an ALD hears only what comes from the microphone, missing anything else 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 is discussions through the interpreter. It is important that only one person speakat a time.
     
  • Providing a copy of notes or power point 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.

Revised May, 2013

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