Teaching Tips - Hearing Impairments 

  • Meet personally with those who have disclosed. When a student presents you with the proper documentation from the disability services office stating he is to receive accommodations, consider asking him to meet with you.  This allows you to explain your teaching style and learn about what works for him.  A meeting also breaks the ice and puts the student more at ease with you.
  • Prepare ahead of time. Learn as much prior to class about support services for these students.  Find out what is available on campus by contacting those in charge of providing services.
  • Be aware of your actions. Your actions and attitudes toward students with disabilities will be observed by all students in class.  You have an opportunity to create an atmosphere of classroom support by being understanding.
  • Get to class early.  Going early on the first day allows you time to deal with any support services issues before students arrive.
  • Be tolerant.  Scheduling glitches may prevent deaf students and interpreters from arriving on time the first day.
  • Take this in stride and be positive.  If you have concerns about tardiness, save them until class is over.  Then make your position known by speaking privately to the people involved.
  • Be visible and keep a clear line of sight. Hard of hearing students without an interpreter will need to see the professor clearly.  Deaf students must have a line of sight to interpreters.  Be prepared to discuss appropriate seating areas with students and interpreters.
  • Review the note-taker’s work.  If a note-taker is being used, request a copy of his notes after class.  Look at them and give necessary feedback to the note-taker. 
  • Discuss how it went.  Get comments from the students and note-takers by talking to them after class.  Ask for suggestions on how to improve communication in the classroom.  Tell them of any concerns you may have.
  • Be patient and flexible. The first day of class can be trying for everyone, not just students with disabilities.  It may take several classes to resolve any problems.
  • Talk to the student.  If a student uses an interpreter, you still should face the student when addressing him.  The interpreter is a translator and does not necessarily have to look at you hace to face.  Talking to the interpreter will make the student feel like he is being left out.


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