Aspire for the Deaf Adult Learner

One Teachers Experiences
Classroom Strategies I
Classroom Strategies II
Curriculum Resources
Technological Devices
Working With Interpreters
Web Resources

ABLE for the Deaf Adult Learner

Classroom Strategies II

Once there is a student who is deaf or hard of hearing in your classroom, you must first discuss with the student what accommodations can be made for that student in the program. Then you can determine how you can modify the environment for the student through physical, instructional and social means. The following are suggestions for accommodations as given by Smith, T. E. C., Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R. and Dowdy, C. A. (2001). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings. Allyn & Bacon: Boston, MA.

Physical Modifications:

  • Seat students near the teacher or a person who is presenting the information.
  • Seat students where they can use their residual hearing and where there are the least amount of distraction.
  • Seat students where they can see other students for class discussions.
  • Seat students where they can see the interpreter, the teacher and the visual aids in the same line of vision.
  • Physical environment accommodations can be made depending upon the students' need, which are: "acoustical ceiling tiles, carpeting, thick curtains, rubber tips on chair and table legs, and proper maintenance of ventilation systems, lighting, doors, and windows." These help to reduce the unnecessary and distracting noises in the classroom.

Pre-instructional Considerations:

  • Make sure that there is enough lighting in the classroom. Also, think about which lighting is appropriate for the student who has an interpreter when the room has to be darkened due to the use of overhead projectors and televisions.
  • Provide visual reminders whenever possible, i.e. how much time is left to do an assignment.
  • When planning, try to use cooperative activities to involve the students in the classroom as much as possible. Also, be sure to include a section on provisions for the deaf and hard of hearing students in your lesson planning.
  • Use the overhead projectors as much as you can so that the students can see you and the visual aids at the same time.
  • Homework assignment books for the students would be helpful for both teacher and students to ensure that they understand their assignments.

Curriculum Modifications:

  • Make sure students are paying attention.
  • Keep your directions when doing an activity or assignment clear and concise.
  • Keep your face visible to students -- avoid walking around the classroom, turning your back to the students and standing in front of bright lights.
  • Use gestures and facial expressions when possible.
  • Check for students' understanding and encourage them to ask questions for clarification.
  • Repeat comments of other speakers in the classroom during discussion.
  • Preview new vocabulary and concepts before presenting new information in class.
  • Use a variety of visually oriented presentations.
  • Emphasize the main points in your presentations.
  • Provide summaries, outlines, or scripts to students when viewing the videotapes or films.

Social Modifications:

  • Create an environment that is positive and reassuring to everyone in the classroom.
  • Use cooperative learning and hands-on activities to develop active participation and bonding in the classroom.
  • If the students feel they don't understand, they should feel comfortable asking you.
  • Help students to understand the nature of hearing loss by explaining how to communicate and what to do. Allow the deaf and hard of hearing students explain how to do these things if they are comfortable doing so.

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