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  • Strategies for Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in the Classroom
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Strategies for Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in the Classroom


  • Encourage student to use their hearing aid (HA) or cochlear implant (CI)
    • Encourage the student to let you know if their HA or CI is not working
    • Learn how to troubleshoot the students amplification equipment
    • Understand the students hearing loss so that you are aware of difficult listening situations
    • Keep the educational audiologist’s contact information on hand if you should need to report any technical difficulties
  • Remember to use the students FM system
    • Be sure it is on when you are speaking to the class and off when you are not
    • Ask the student periodically if the FM system is working
    • Encourage the student to let you know if it is not working
    • Learn how to troubleshoot the FM system
  • Encourage students to be proactive
    • Develop student’s understanding of their hearing loss
    • Develop students self-advocacy skills
    • Teach students to troubleshoot their equipment

Seating arrangements

  • The student should have preferential seating, in clear view of the teacher and other students if possible
  • The student should be seated away from noise sources such as heaters, air conditioners, windows, and doorways


  • Ensure you have the students attention before signing or speaking
  • Do not lecture while students are expected to be working
  • Allow only one student to speak or sign at a time
  • Use captioned videos
  • Limit background noise
  • Limit visual distractions
  • Make speech reading as easy as possible
    • Stand in clear view of students
    • Avoid placing hands and other objects in front of your face
    • Keep facial hair trimmed
    • Do not chew gum
    • Provide context
    • Speak clearly and slightly slower than normal without exaggerating articulation
    • Repeat information as needed


  • Allow time for interpreter to finish signing before calling on students to answer questions
  • Have students raise their hand before speaking so that the interpreter can identify the speaker
  • Provide course materials to the interpreter in advance so that he or she may prepare
  • The interpreter should not be used to monitor the class, run errands, or serve as a disciplinarian
  • Speak directly to the student rather than asking the interpreter to tell him or her something

Physical Environment

  • Attempt to minimize noise distractions in your classroom
    • When possible choose a classroom away from noise sources such as gymnasiums, stairways, and entrances to the building
    • Wear shoes that do not make loud noises, such as tennis shoes
    • If the classroom is not carpeted, use pads or tennis balls under desks and chairs to reduce noise
    • Reduce reverberation by installing sound boards, reducing flat surfaces or covering them with material


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