University of Washington DO-IT Home   Site Map     Search     Glossary
[DOIT Logo]
Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology

The Faculty Room

Accommodations and
Universal Design
Rights and Responsibilities Faculty Resources Faculty Presentations Resources for Trainers, Staff, and Administrators
DO-IT Video Presentations and Publications | Faculty Publications From DO-IT | Examples of PowerPoint Presentations | Distance Learning Courses
Facilitating the Course | Lessons | Followup | Recruiting
DO-IT participants work together on a computer presentation.
Search Knowledge Base
Knowledge Base
Articles by Topic
Enter Other Access
College Rooms
About
The Faculty Room
project
Evaluate this site.

Lesson 04: Hearing

Lesson 03 | Lesson 04 | Lesson 05

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Distance Learning Course
SUBJECT: Accommodations 4: HEARING

==========
PURPOSE

The purpose of this lesson is to increase your awareness of the issues
and strategies related specifically to accommodations for students
with HEARING IMPAIRMENTS.

By reflecting on YOUR own course while reading the CONTENT, you will
be guided to consider possible modifications to your course
SPECIFICALLY related to HEARING impairments. By considering and
discussing the ACCESS ISSUES in a case study reading, you will develop
an awareness of additional strategies and accommodations.

==========
Questions to REFLECT upon while reading the CONTENT

What challenges might students with HEARING impairments face in your
selected course?  What accommodations might they require?

==========
CONTENT

We are now concentrating on accommodations for students with specific
disabilities or impairments.  This lesson presents issues and
suggestions for accommodating students with HEARING IMPAIRMENTS.

The term "hearing impairment" refers to functional hearing loss that
ranges from mild to profound. Often, people who have no functional
hearing refer to themselves as "DEAF." Those with milder hearing loss
refer to themselves as "HARD OF HEARING." Accommodations for students
with hearing impairments can be classified as VISUAL and AURAL. Visual
accommodations rely on a person's sight; aural accommodations rely on
a person's hearing abilities. Examples of visual accommodations
include sign language interpreters, lip reading, and
captioning. Examples of aural accommodations include amplification
devices such as FM systems.

HARD OF HEARING STUDENTS
Some students who are hard of hearing may hear only specific
frequencies or sounds within a certain volume range. They may rely
heavily upon hearing aids and lip reading. Some students who are hard
of hearing may never learn, or only occasionally use, sign language. A
student who is hard of hearing may have a speech impairment due to the
inability to hear his own voice clearly.

Hearing impairments can affect students in several ways. They may have
difficulty FOLLOWING LECTURES in large halls, particularly if the
acoustics cause echoes or if the speaker talks quietly, rapidly, or
unclearly. People who have hearing impairments may find it difficult
to SIMULTANEOUSLY WATCH demonstrations and FOLLOW VERBAL DESCRIPTIONS,
particularly if they are watching a sign language interpreter, a
captioning screen, or a speaker's lips. IN-CLASS DISCUSSIONS may also
be difficult to follow or participate in, particularly if the
discussion is fast-paced and unmoderated, since there is often lag
time between a speaker's comments and interpretation.

Students who are hard of hearing may use hearing aids. Students who
use hearing aids will likely benefit from amplification in other forms
such as assistive listening devices (ALD's) like hearing aid
compatible telephones, personal neck loops, and audio induction loop
assistive listening systems. Some students use an FM amplification
system that requires the instructor to wear a small microphone to
transmit amplified sound to the student; this accommodation may also
be used in small group discussions with the microphone handed from
speaker to speaker.

DEAFNESS
A student who is deaf may have little or no speech depending on the
severity of the hearing loss and the age of onset. She will often
communicate through a sign language interpreter. American Sign
Language (ASL) is widely used and has its own grammar and word
order. Other students may use manual English (or signed English),
which is sign language in English word order. A CERTIFIED INTERPRETER
is used for translation into either language. A student who is deaf
may also benefit from real-time CAPTIONING, where spoken text is typed
and projected onto a screen. It is important to remember that a
student who is using an interpreter, who is lip reading, or who is
reading real-time captioning CANNOT SIMULTANEOUSLY look down at
written materials or take notes. DESCRIBING written or projected text
is therefore helpful to this student. HANDOUTS that can be read before
or after class are useful but can create challenges when referred to
during the class session.

ACCOMMODATIONS for HARD OF HEARING and DEAF STUDENTS
Examples of accommodations for students who have hearing impairments include:
* Interpreters
* Assistive Listening Devices (ALD's), sound amplification systems
* Note takers
* Preferential seating for optimal listening or lip reading
* Real-time captioning
* Electronic mail for faculty-student meetings and class discussions,
and as an alternative to teleconferencing
* Visual warning systems for lab emergencies
* Changing computer auditory signals to flashes or contrast changes.

Hearing impairments do not interfere with the physical aspects of
writing. However, students who use American Sign Language may have
POOR GRAMMAR because of differences between English and American Sign
Language; English is considered a second language for many individuals
who are deaf and use sign language. Typical accommodations that can be
used to facilitate maximum participation in WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
include:
* Examples of writing expectations (e.g., sample of a completed
assignment of acceptable quality, including content and
grammar/syntax)
* Grade writing and content separately.

There are also several ways you can direct YOUR SPEAKING STYLE and
adjust the PACE of the classroom to make information more accessible
to a student with a hearing impairment:
* When speaking, make sure the student can see your face and avoid
unnecessary pacing and moving.
* When speaking, AVOID obscuring your lips or face with hands, books, etc. 
* REPEAT discussion questions and statements made by other students.
* WRITE discussion questions/answers on the board or overhead projector.
* Speak clearly and at a normal rate.
* Use VISUAL AIDS with few words and large images and fonts.
* Provide written lecture outlines, class assignments, lab
instructions, and demonstration summaries and distribute them BEFORE
class when possible.

==========
SUMMARY

HEARING IMPAIRMENTS make it difficult or impossible to hear lecturers,
access multi-media materials, and participate in discussions. It is
important to remember that a student who is using an interpreter, who
is lip reading, or who is reading real-time captioning will have
DIFFICULTY looking at another resource at the same time. Writing
assignments may also be a challenge.

Examples of general accommodations are:
* Interpreters
* Assistive Listening Devices (ALD's), sound amplification systems
* Note takers
* Preferential seating for optimal listening or lip reading
* Real-time captioning
* Electronic mail for faculty-student meetings and class discussions,
and as an alternative to teleconferencing
* Visual warning systems for lab emergencies
* Changing computer auditory signals to flashes or contrast changes.

Remember also that there are several ways you can adjust YOUR SPEAKING
STYLE and the PACE of the classroom to make information more
accessible to a student with a hearing impairment.

Flexibility and effective communication between YOU, the STUDENT, and
the DISABLED STUDENT SERVICES OFFICE are key in approaching
accommodations. With this basic knowledge you will be better prepared
to ask students with HEARING IMPAIRMENTS to clarify their needs and to
discuss accommodation requests.

==========
QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION

After reading the following case study, SEND an email message to the
group, suggesting strategies and accommodations to the ACCESS ISSUE
questions.

Your email SUBJECT line should read: Accommodations 4: HEARING.

BACKGROUND
My name is Michael and I am a graduate student in Rehabilitation
Counseling at San Diego State University. I have a severe-profound,
bilateral hearing loss and use hearing aids and speech reading
(watching the movement of a person's lips) to maximize my
communication abilities. I have some knowledge of American Sign
Language but not enough to effectively use a sign language interpreter
as an accommodation.

ACCESS ISSUES
Graduate level courses emphasize student participation and the
development of critical thinking skills. In addition to using a note
taker and real-time captioning, in what ways can instructors create a
fully inclusive classroom environment that meets and maximizes my
communication needs?

==========
FURTHER INFORMATION

You can read answers to frequently asked questions, explore case
studies or access additional resources at:
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/Strategies/Disability/Hearing/

==========
(c) 2001 DO-IT. Permission is granted to copy material in this email
for educational, non-commercial purposes provided the source is
acknowledged. Contact DO-IT at 1-206-685-3648, or
doit@u.washington.edu.