Deaf/Hard of Hearing

The following academic tips should assist you in working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing in post-secondary education.

Academic Tips..

  • Repeat or rephrase questions/comments from the class before responding
  • Face the class and speak naturally and at a moderate pace
  • Avoid the temptation to pick up the pace when time is short
  • Do not speak while writing on the board
  • Lecture from the front of the room, not pacing around
  • Point out who is speaking in group discussions
  • Do not drink or chew gum while lecturing
  • Do not stand or sit in front of a window where shadows will impede lip reading
  • Encourage communication from a student with a hearing loss
  • Provide handouts on PowerPoint presentations, lecture notes, and assignments
  • Write announcements and assignments on the board
  • Use captioned films/videos/DVD's
  • Seek instruction on the use of assistive listening devices (see Tips below)
  • Seek instruction on working with interpreters in class (see Tips below)

Working with Interpreters

  • An interpreter's role is to facilitate communication

  • Interpreters are not aides or participants in class

  • Keep lines of sight free for visual access to information

  • Interpreters need to stand or sit in direct line with you, the student, and any visuals

  • Share any handouts, text books, technical vocabulary, syllabus, agenda, etc. which will enhance the quality of the interpreted message

  • Speak naturally and at a reasonable, modest pace

  • The interpreter must listen and understand a complete thought before signing it

  • Interpreters are usually one or two sentences behind

  • Address any communication to the student, not the interpreter

  • Maintain eye contact with the student

  • For group work, semi-circles or circles work best

  • Students cannot read or take notes while watching the interpreter

FM Systems

  • Request training from DRS or the student

  • Position the microphone properly

  • Perform a listening check

  • Face the student when talking

  • Speak slowly and clearly