Teaching Strategies For Students With Hearing Loss

The 2019 Disabled Child Event emphasized the importance of taking an inclusive teaching approach to people with disabilities. It includes those with hearing loss. Admit or not, students with hearing impairment have a hard time taking studying. The reality is, most of these individuals feel isolated in the learning environment we have right now. With these in mind, here are some teaching strategies you can use to make school systems more inclusive.

Improve Classroom Conditions

Students with hearing conditions need a modified classroom. This kind of room includes well-designed acoustics for optimal sound production, proper visual lighting, and little distractive noise. It would help if you also considered putting them in the front so that they’ll have a more unobstructed view of your visuals. Their sight is their primary weapon in learning.

Provide Transcripts

Flashing powerpoints or writing on blackboards are not enough. Some information that you say on your adlib while teaching, but are not in the visuals. Therefore, the best way to go about this is to provide transcripts that will help them catch up with the discussion. They can review this after to ensure that they’ve understood the lesson correctly.

Repeat Important Concepts

You need to repeat the critical concepts several times so that they’ll take everything in. Do the same practice if ever other students ask some questions before giving your response. This way, they won’t be confused with what’s happening around them. This approach will also help them just in case they have the same question in mind.

Maximize Assistive Technical Capabilities

Years of research and development allowed educators to use tools to teach those with auditory abilities. These are known as assistive technical capabilities. Some examples of these include:

  • Personal Amplification Systems
  • C-Print which has a speech-to-text feature
  • Speech synthesizer
  • FM systems to improve sound an instructor’s microphone

Teaching a student with hearing loss might be a little challenging. However, an educator’s job is to make every teaching approach as inclusive as possible. Apply these tips in your classroom, and you will spearhead positive change in their lives.

Challenges Of Being Blind During A Pandemic

I grew up around visually impaired people, given that my mother is one of them. She lost most of her vision due to glaucoma when I was merely an infant. My father was not around at all, so she had to raise me on her own.

Despite my mother’s blindness, I never thought much about her disability. It was not because I was insensitive but because she did everything that a non-disabled person could do. My mother worked as an accountant, did all the grocery shopping at home, and even did all the household chores until I was old enough to help.

I only realized how challenging it must be to have a visual impairment when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Here are a few issues that my mother and other visually impaired folks experience now:

You Cannot Ask For Help From Strangers

A lot of sight-impaired individuals get through the day with the help of people they may or may not know. Say, if someone sees that you have a tough time finding the door, they will guide you to it. If you cannot reach a product at the supermarket, they will put it in your cart. Often, you need not ask—those helpful strangers just do it.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, people have become aloof, especially when they are in a public place. Assuming you used to get assistance from random folks before asking, you may hardly find anyone willing to do it these days. No one feels like coming in contact with strangers, regardless if they have an impairment and genuinely need help.

You Cannot Touch Anything In Public

When there is not another soul to extend a helping hand, a blind person can typically get things done by using their sense of touch. Meaning to say, they tend to feel the walls to know the right direction or avoid bumping into it. That’s how they figure out how to use public transportation, climb up the stairs, or hit the correct elevator button.

Unfortunately, no one can touch any public property at the moment. The virus may be sticking to those walls and buttons, and you can contract COVID-19. Hence, things can be tricky from the moment you step out of the house even if you have a walking stick.

You Cannot Shop Online Easily

Yes, visually impaired folks can do online shopping. They typically have an app that reads the text on the screen, so they don’t need another set of eyes to read for them. Then, when the package comes, the driver or delivery personnel can help check the items and ensure that everything has arrived.

Still, this advancement has proven to be not too helpful during a crisis in which other people are panic buying. After all, it takes a while for the app to change whatever’s on-screen from text to speech. The delivery guys are also forbidden to come in close contact with the customers, so they cannot open the package for the blind. For that reason, the sight-impaired individuals have no choice but to either accept or reject the parcels with missing items.

Final Thoughts

My mother has lived through the challenges mentioned above because of this pandemic, and it saddens her to know that she needs to stay at home more often these days. It makes me feel sadder that the once-helpful folks no longer even want to greet you, but I understand that they only wish to prevent virus transmission. Alas, it may take many moons before things return to their natural state, and it’s safe for visually impaired people to go out by themselves again. All we can do is ask for assistance from a close relative or neighbor for now.

Classroom Support For Visually Impaired Students

The 2018 Disability Conference promotes the accessibility and inclusivity of various institutions and provides support to differently-abled people and their families. It inclines with the conference focus of equipping differently-abled people to have the same opportunities as everyone else. In line with this, institutions like schools have to ensure that all students have equal chances and access to learning. 

For students who are dealing with notable visual impairment, the students must have access to a Certified Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI), including a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) for consultation. However, there are practical tips teacher can implement for teaching visually impaired students inside the classroom, and these are: 

  • Addressing The Students By Their Name

Teachers should speak to their students using their names, whether they are visually impaired or not. For visually impaired students, addressing them with their names allows them to distinguish when their teachers are talking to them or asking them a question. Teachers should approach all the students by their names to help visually impaired students identify their other classmates and create connections inside the classroom. They should also encourage all their students to do the same when they’re talking with each other.

  • Always Explain Visual Materials

You have to clearly explain all the visual materials you’re using while you’re teaching visually impaired students. In this way, all of your students can participate and will feel included in conversations. You should describe the image, and if you’re writing on the chalkboard or whiteboard, it’s best to dictate the words. Avoid using gestures so that everyone can gain access to the information and follow along. Always use positional concepts such as behind/in front or left/right and descriptive sentences.

  • Provide Beneficial Seats

Organize advantageous seats for your students who are visually impaired to help them become comfortable and safe inside the room. For example, if a student is only capable of using his/ her left eye, then place him/her on the right side of the classroom. Avoid making them sit facing a light source as well so that they won’t face difficulties. 

  • Treat All Your Students Fairly

As much as you are making adjustments for your visually impaired students, it’s also essential that you uphold them on the same rules and behavioral expectations like everyone else in the class. Avoid giving preference treatments to them so that they’ll feel like one of their peers inside the classroom.  

When Your First Born Is Legally Blind: The Struggles That Parents Have To Deal With

Nothing beats the excitement and fear that you feel upon learning that you will soon become parents. Expecting your first-born would give you mixed emotions, which include the extreme mood swings and weird cravings that come along the entire pregnancy; the Couvade’s Syndrome that husbands usually experience, and the paranoia that you get when negative thoughts invade your mind. However, more than the worries you have are the happiness you feel as parents-in-waiting, knowing that your love has given birth to life – a symbol of your love.  

Sudden Blindness: Surviving The Mishap

It is true that the only thing that is constant in life is change, but when the change becomes an unexpected mishap, it makes life hard to live with because every day you would have to deal with that change. However, we must accept the fact that life has its ways of dealing with things with us, as we all have different weights to bear, and it is a matter of how we seal the deal with life.  

How Children Can Help During The Aging Of Parents

One certainty in life is that we will all grow old. We will lose our youthful glow and have dull and wrinkly skin with fine lines and grey hair too. A lot of physical changes happen when a person grows old, but these are prominent and obvious changes that one notices. More than the changed in physical appearance is the continued deterioration of our internal body system. Our body system is like an engine that needs to be maintained and repaired to function well, but over time, it will eventually weaken and can never be repaired anymore.

Just as Ben Martin, PsyD, says, “you will reach a point in life where you may ask yourself what you’re currently looking your best. You may also say that this is the best you’ll ever feel or be able to do. Such a feeling may indicate some midlife crisis.” There is nothing wrong with aging. We cannot stop our body from going in that direction. Some cosmetic procedures can extend the normal process of deterioration, but our digital age will continue no matter what.  

Psychiatry Focus: Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a relatively new condition first described by an occupational therapist named Anna Jean Ayres in 1972. She described the state as the inability of the neurological process to organize sensation from one’s own body and the environment, makes it impossible to use the body effectively within the context (Midgley, 2014).