In order to be able to teach students who are hard of hearing or deaf it is important to understand what is the different between the two. According to Nancy Hutchinson’s textbook Inclusion of Exceptional Learners in Canadian School: A Practical Handbook for Teachers student with hearing impairments are students who, “… cannot hear well enough to use hearing as a primary channel for learning without significant assistance…” (Hutchinson 125). Deaf is the most profound level of hearing loss. There is a total of four level of hearing loss mild, moderate, severe, and profound of deaf (Hutchinson 125). The most significance between hard of hearing and deaf students is the severity of the hearing loss.
Teachers need to understand that students with a hearing impairment will likely be affected by their language and communication development (Hutchinson 125). Before this is able to happen, it is important for teachers to notice changes in student’s behaviour. For instance, you might notice, “… children failing to respond to their name, asking for directions to be repeated, turning their head to hear, and speaking too loudly or too softly” (Hutchinson 126). Being able to differentiate and accommodates all students into an inclusive classroom is crucial to give students to amount of treatment they deserve.
Parents play a huge role in how you will be able to differentiate for a student with hearing impairments. It is important to remember that all parents want the best for their children and will usually work along side the teacher to help achieve this goal. Depending on the path the parent has chose for their child and when the child started to witness hearing loss, whether at birth or later on in life, will depend on what path you will need to take as the teacher. For instance, if a parent has decided to teach their child American Sign Language (ASL) or develop a deaf identity through deaf culture you can put this into your lesson plans to teach other students. This will create a learning opportunity for you and your students.
Hutchinson also gives eight tips for teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. These tips include using visuals, handouts, and outlines; and discussing things with the student such as seating arrangements and so on (Hutchinson 127). These are just a few ways to differentiate and accommodates for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Hitchens, Rebecca. “Teaching Students Who Are Hard of Hearing or Deaf.” EPSY400. (2018).
Hutchinson, Nancy Lynn. Inclusion of Exceptional Learners in Canadian Schools: A Practical Handbook for Teachers. Pearson Canada Inc., 2017.