What lab safety issues need to be considered when working with a student who is deaf?
Although each situation is different and the student is the best source of information regarding useful accommodations, the following are some accommodations that should help to make the laboratory safer for students who are deaf and the other students in your class as well:
- If the student has an interpreter, make sure the interpreter understands safety instructions in advance so they can translate them properly to the student.
- All spoken instructions should be written and posted as well.
- Auditory warnings, such as alarms and spoken warnings by the teacher or professor, should include a visual complement, such as flashing room lights.
- For a lab that includes sound in some way, pair the student with a student who is not hearing-impaired and make sure both students have a role for the lab.
- Make sure all students in the class know where safety equipment is located.
For more information on making science laboratories accessible to students with disabilities, consult Accessibility in the Laboratory, published by the American Chemical Society and visit the Science Labs area of the AccessSTEM Room.