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Building Skills for Success

Building Skills for Success in the Fast-Paced Classroom is our best seller, owned by about 1/4 of the DHH teachers in the US.

Teacher Tools

We now have 11 Kool Kidz Vidz posted. Members only! Join more than 1,250 2016 -2017 Members today! April Teacher Tools materials now posted!

Access To Information

Access truly is the name of the game! Yet how do we know how WELL our students are truly accessing information presented in the classroom?

Using the Recorded Functional Listening Evaluation Using Sentences

There is no more effective way to estimate a student’s level of auditory access in the classroom! This functional assessment is easy to perform and can take only 15 minutes. Find the size of your student’s listening bubble and compare speech perception accuracy at 3 feet in quiet/noise to 10-15 feet in quiet/noise. Examine the results to identify phonemes that are commonly missed or misunderstood.

This 1:15 minute webcast is only $24.00. Purchase the digital FLE audio files and pdfs for only an additional $13.00 ($37.00 for webcast and the digital FLE). Load it onto your SmartPhone, computer, or DropBox/GoogleDocs. Purchased separately, the FLE on CD is $20.00. Pricing also available for licensing use for your whole district.

2-minute video – very brief demonstration of using the Recorded FLE Using Sentences or on YouTube.

IDEA FROM THE FIELD: I have used the Recorded FLE Using Sentences with a number of our HH kids and they seem to have real speech perception challenges.  I tried the FLE with my 7 year old grandson, whose hearing is fine, and he got almost all the items right. The couple that he missed were corrected by his 4 year old brother who told him what the sentence actually was! I notice that my two CI kids, whose CI team feel they are hearing at 20 dB or better, tend to omit is, past tense markers and present progressives as they repeat the sentences. They tend to get the key words correct but due to missing so much they really don’t understand what is presented. Even when I question them they can’t explain what the idea of a sentence was with clarity. The Recorded FLE has really helped to identify issues beyond simple audibility.          Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

IDEA FROM THE FIELD:  It is important to note not only the errors the student makes in repeating the sentences, but HOW the student repeatsFor example, I had to pause several times throughout the testing to remind one student to repeat any words of the sentences she heard even if she didn’t catch the whole sentence. That wasn’t easy for her to do…it was either repeating the whole sentence or nothing…she was usually able to repeat 2 of the 5 words of a sentence when I paused to ask if there were any of the words she heard.  Another observation of the HOW was that most of the responses she gave at the far distances were as if she was repeating it as a question (e.g., The fruit came in a box???). The few that she clearly repeated as a statement showed her confidence that she was sure of what she heard.  I think these observations are also very important to share when we discuss results of the FLE with the school team. There was much more of a lack of confidence at the far distance.  Plus, it demonstrates the added effort a student has to make to listen.     Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Advocacy Notes NEW White Paper on Estimating the Level of Communication Effectiveness/Access

In a November 2014 policy guidance, it was clarified that under Title II of the ADA, schools are required to ensure that communication for students who are deaf and hard of hearing are as effective as communication for others through the provision of appropriate aids and services, thereby affording an equal opportunity to obtain the same result to gain the same benefit as that provided to others and to participate in and enjoy the benefits of the district’s services, programs, and activities.

While this was a bold step reinforcing the requirement for equal access for students with hearing loss, there was no recommended means included for schools to assess the level of student access, or communication effectiveness, as compared to class peers.

In July, Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss released White Paper: Estimating the Level of Communication Effectiveness/Access, which is the result of almost a year-long iterative process with contributions by a variety of deaf education practitioners


White Paper: Estimating the Level of Communication Effectiveness/Access

The purpose of this White Paper was to provide recommendations to school personnel on how the level of communication effectiveness in comparison to class peers can be identified, as required per ADA, as it has been specified that student academic grades cannot be used as a measure of access.

To determine the level of communication effectiveness, appropriate assessment must occur. The teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing is typically the most qualified to be at the forefront of this assessment process. Students with hearing loss who are primarily auditory learners and those who are primarily visual learners require assessment. These assessment procedures differ. Finally, students with expressive language concerns, like Deaf visual learners, must also be assessed to ensure that their opportunity to fully participate in the classroom is equal to their class peers.

A primary goal of the White Paper was to provide practical recommendations for assessment that could be implemented by teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, educational audiologists, and/or speech language pathologists who have specialty training and experience in working with children who are deaf/hard of hearing. It is hoped that this White Paper will become the center of discussion, inspiration, and information by individual teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing and DHH Teams across the US. Broad sharing of this document is encouraged.

How can the White Paper help YOU?

Many school administrators are still unaware of the requirements of the ADA regarding students with hearing loss. The White Paper provides you with a compact, authoritative summary of the requirements of ADA and recommendations for how these requirements can be satisfied. Keep a copy of the White Paper on your media device or in your ‘meetings folder’ so that you can easily refer to it if you are questioned about the necessity to assess the level of communication effectiveness, not just identify adverse educational affect for special education eligibility.

This document was shared with the following in July, 2017. You are encouraged to share the White Paper with your school administration and other parties who may be interested.

  • Office of Civil Rights
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  • American Speech and Hearing Association
  • AG Bell
  • National Association of the Deaf
  • American Sign Language Teachers Association
  • OPTION Schools
  • American Society for Deaf Children
  • Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf
  • Association of College Educators – Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Council for Exceptional Children – Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness

If you have a question from the field, send it to karen@successforkidswithhearingloss.com!

NOTE: The information represents the opinion of Karen Anderson, PhD who is not an attorney. The information presented is not legal advice, may not be the most current, and is subject to change without notice.


Speech Perception, the listening bubble, and impact on learning

For most classroom communication students who are hard of hearing must work harder to listen, thus having fewer resources needed to process what was said so that it can be comprehended and remembered.

Our students who are Deaf and communicate visually will only perceive what is provided via their interpreter and/or captioning, which in combination with language ability may or may not result in complete understanding.

How well a student is able to perceive speech in a classroom will impact educational performance. This Update will review how reduced speech perception is likely to impact learning. These impacts are often overlooked or misunderstood by school staff as they review whether it is necessary to evaluate a student with hearing loss to determine eligibility for specialized supports and services. Hopefully, the information mentioned below will provide the hearing loss professional with the information needed to make the case that this access issue indeed has educational ramifications.

Hard of Hearing Students – comprehension from bits and pieces

Audibility refers to how much sound, especially how much of the speech signal, can be heard. How well language can be used to ‘fill in the blanks’, level of interest and motivation to understand, and level of fatigue from extended listening all contribute to how well a student comprehends what was said.


The Speech Audibility Audiogram for Classroom Listening, on the Speech Perception page of the website, shows the difference in audibility for ‘Teacher Speech’ versus ‘Soft Speech.’  Examples of soft speech include comments from peers spoken 6 or more feet away (class discussion) and many of the comments during social situations in school. Group learning when competing conversations are occurring also reduces audibility very significantly. A student with hearing levels in the 25-30 dB range will experience 81% audibility of the teacher’s voice and only 25% audibility of soft speech. This hearing level is not uncommon for children wearing hearing aids. The new Teacher Inservice Combo contains specific handouts describing the impact of hearing loss in speech perception, even when students are using hearing aidsObviously, hearing aids are not enough to allow these students to fully access class communication, especially class discussions, unless an FM/DM is used and the pass around microphone is used.

Specific Speech Sounds






Decreased audibility looks different from child to child based on their hearing loss and how well their hearing aids are fit. The Speech Perception – Formant Representations for Vowels and Consonants is revealing about the challenges a child with a hearing loss that has ‘peaks and valleys’ that cause islands of hearing. In general, higher pitched consonant sounds (s, f, th, p, k, t, etc.) and brief words and endings are most easily missed, unless speech is presented within 3 feet.



A child needs to listen for about 20,000 hours before the brain has developed a clear idea (mental referent) of what each of the discrete speech phonemes sounds like. This requires precision hearing and is a necessary step before children can develop a consistent understanding of sound/letter relationships. It is not a surprise that many students who are deaf or hard of hearing fall behind in their phonological awareness skills. Without these skills students work harder to ‘sound out’ words as they read, which interferes with comprehension. Poor reading fluency will cause even the smartest students to read more slowly and work harder than peers. Students with hearing loss need to have an in depth assessment of their phonological awareness skills.

Reading Comprehension

A recent study* explored reasons why so many students with hearing loss seem to plateau in their reading achievement at the 4th grade level. They found that (1) morphologic awareness was a prerequisite to high reading test scores, (2) speech intelligibility was not correlated with language proficiency (i.e., even if a student has ‘good speech’ this does not predict good language), and (3) language proficiency (measured by the CELF-4) predicted reading achievement. Thus, speech perception has an impact on student’s hearing and learning how to interpret morphological information, such as learning the meanings such as cosmo-, mal-, bio-.

*Nielsen, D. C, Luetke, B., McLean, M., & Stryker, D. (2016). The English-language and reading achievement of a cohort of deaf students speaking and signing Standard English: A preliminary study. American Annals of the Deaf, 161(3), 342-368.

Cracking the Grammar Code

So many of our student cannot hear the insalient parts of speech (cannot perceive the high frequencies and/or the quiet parts of speech) – EVERY TEACHER needs to have easy to use syntax-building materials! Cracking the Grammar Code is a perfect fit for your needs whether you are an itinerant, or provide center-based, resource room, or push-in services. Keep the CGC materials on your media device to present the items to your students or copy the pages you need as you go.

Within the FREE downloadable  Syntax Skill Pretests and Simple Skill Activities sample book, there are pretests teachers can use to identify students’ skill levels. Each pretest has a rubric to diagnosis specific skills in the broader category.

When you are ready to dive into the full curriculum, there are four comprehensive downloadable books for purchase. The books provide a year’s-worth of teaching materials at your fingertips! Each book contains assessment and teaching materials. The books are available as a complete package as well as separately. Books can be taught in any order depending on the students’ skill levels; however, for a complete year’s-worth of lessons, present the books in the following order:
Nouns, Articles & Conjunctions (173 pages for $27) and its companion Vocabulary Enhancement – Simple Picture Glossary (128 pages)  – Printed Version ($28)    –  Digital Version ($20)
(2) Verbs (143 pages for $18)
(3) Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, & Prepositional Phrases (94 pages for $13)and
Finding the Subject & Subject-Verb Agreement (141 pages for $14).
Each book contains individual subject pretests and teaches concepts in incremental steps.

All 4 Books (Nouns, Verbs, Pronouns, Finding the Subject)
Digital downloads for individuals only $62.00
Digital downloads for groups of up to 8 users only $248.00   

All 4 Books (Nouns, Verbs, Pronouns, Finding the Subject) + Vocabulary Enhancement Glossary
Digital downloads for individuals only $79.00
Digital downloads for groups of up to 8 users only $315.00  

Digital downloads of all 4 books + 1 Printed Vocabulary Enhancement Glossary $86  individuals only
(no group  pricing)

What’s New? Technology Advancements for Interact-AS

What’s New? Technology Advancements for Interact-AS

Increasingly, students who are hard of hearing are requesting captioning as an accommodation in secondary school. Interact-AS is a computer program that provides realtime captioning on a media device on the student’s desk. Only the speech that is picked up from a microphone is captioned. Interact-AS now has microphone options to assist in providing access during discussion group situations.
Register for our first Interact-AS webinar on Sept 20th at 1:30 CT.  

Download a PDF of the following information Here

A Few of the New Features for Interact-AS™

Supporting Success is proud to be the sole source to offer Interact-AS captioning technology to schools!
The new products described below will soon be added to those offered by Supporting Success.

Welcome to the new school year. We’ve got some good news for you. Two of the requests that we received from teachers during the 2016-2017 school year was a way to better support team teaching situations and also student discussion groups. Plus, there were several other suggestions we received. Thanks for forwarding those ideas to us. By partnering together we can help ensure every student has equal access to classroom discussions. Here is a quick summary of how over the summer we took your suggestions and came up with solutions.

Voice Training is No Longer Needed: With Interact-AS™ Version 6 you no longer need to train voice profiles. You still can train a voice profile, and it is recommended that each teacher do this, but training is no longer required. Having the ability to recognize speech without having pre-trained voice profiles means students can now pass a microphone around their group and whatever they are saying will be captioned. Also, a substitute teacher no longer needs to train a voice profile. Instead you can just create a User Account called “Substitute Teacher” and use the default “English Speech” option. Also, training a voice profile is now much faster. Instead of taking about 8 minutes to do this, with Version 6 it only takes about a minute. That was step one in our summer efforts. Next, we worked on microphones…

Team Teaching: To support team teaching situations Auditory Sciences is now offering a new dual-channel wireless receiver. This new Dual Receiver includes a second audio channel, so now two wireless microphones can be simultaneously connected to the student’s computer. You still need to take turns speaking, but two teachers can now easily be part of the same captioned conversation. There’s no longer a need to switch user profiles, or hand over a microphone, or to turn off and on a transmitter. Just turn on your microphone and it automatically connects to the student’s computer. The new Dual Receiver includes a built-in audio output jack. This makes it easier to connect an earbud, headset, hearing aid or CI to the wireless microphone. All you do is plug the device into the receiver, that’s it. Plus, this new receiver includes a built-in digitizer, meaning you no longer need a USB adapter to connect the receiver to the computer. Fewer parts, not as many connections, and more functionality, all built in to a receiver that can still fit in a student’s pocket.

New Handheld Wireless Microphone: The previous handheld wireless microphone was designed for use in adult conference rooms — the setup time was way too long for classroom use. That issue is now solved. The new handheld wireless microphone automatically connects to the new Dual Receiver.

Mix and Match Components: With the new Dual Receiver and handheld and wireless transmitters you can mix and match components to meet your needs. You can use two wireless headsets (e.g., for two teachers); or one wireless headset and one wireless handheld (e.g., for a teacher and a group of students); or two wireless handhelds (e.g., for a large auditorium assembly). Plus, there are more options…

1:1 Teaching or Meetings: In addition to the new wireless components, we also developed a new Y-Cable (part Z.DUAL.CAB) that allows multiple microphones to be connected via cables to a student’s computer. This is an extremely low-cost team-teaching solution ($14.95). It’s a cabled versus wireless option, so this is not a solution designed for use in a classroom, but it works great for 1:1 meetings with the student, or during an IEP where multiple people may be speaking.

More Team Teaching Options: So, what about situations where you have dozens of people speaking? We’ve got an answer for that as well. We’ve added a new feature to Interact-AS that is called Streamer™. With Streamer™ you can connect as many people as you want to a student’s computer. Literally, you can have hundreds of people speaking, even speaking at the exact same time, and whatever they say is labeled with the speaker’s name, captioned, and displayed on the student’s computer. The way this works is that each person that is speaking needs to have a copy of Interact-AS running on their computer (such as the teacher’s computer). Whatever they say is captioned on that computer and then “streamed” to the student’s desk. The student can view the captioning on any device that can connect to the internet, including iPad, Chromebooks, Android Phones and iPhones. Note that student does not need to install any app on their device, all they’ll do is go to www.streamer.center and enter the name of your Streamer™ account (usually the name of your school) and that’s it. Note also that you can have as many students as you want connect to the Streamer account. So, for example, if you have 20 students in an all-school assembly that want to see a captioning and/or translation of what is being said, with Streamer™ you’re all set. The same for enabling those students to view a captioning of the morning announcements, or an announcer at the football game. The Streamer™ module costs just $99, and like Interact-AS, this is for a permanent unlimited use license.

More Comfortable Teacher Microphone: This past year many teachers requested that we offer a behind-the-head microphone versus the over-the-top version. So, we’ve done that as well. You now can choose the style of microphone that you would like to use with your Interact-AS Captioning and Translation System. You can select the traditional over-the-head option or the behind-the-head option.

A More Cosmetically Acceptable Student Receiver: For students where “fitting in” is a priority, we’ve developed a receiver that looks like a USB thumb drive. This USB model receiver was designed to be as small as possible. It does not have dual channels (just a single channel), nor an audio output jack for a hearing aid or CI, but it is incredibly small. For some students, this may be the key to having them be excited about using a captioning system. Keep it in mind as an option when configuring a captioning system for your students.

Easier Phrase Building
: Interact-AS™ includes at no extra charge the complete set of PhraseBuilder™ features. These are used by students that are non-verbal. This past year many teachers requested an improved way to create and maintain Favorites Lists. These are lists of phrases and/or sentence constructs that students can use to easily ask questions in the class or hold conversations with others. So, we did it. You can now use basically any text editor (such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs) and with a single click convert that document into a Favorites List. Likewise, you can export a Favorites List into your preferred text editor. This new module is free, just ask, and we’ll be glad to send you a download link.

Thanks Again for your Suggestions. Together, Interact-AS, Supporting Success and YOU are making the classroom more accessible for everyone, including students that are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and/or non-verbal. You, the teachers, are the most important members of our team. Thanks for all you do to help so many students !!!

On SALE through September! The NEW Teacher Inservice Combo

The new Impact of Hearing Loss on Listening, Learning, and Social Interactions included in the Teacher Inservice Combo provides a visual example of how various levels of hearing loss fragments speech and describes the impact of a smaller listening bubble. The Impact of Hearing Loss handouts are part of the 12 downloadable handouts and checklists (including fillable SIFTERs!). A great deal of information at a great price – especially through September! 30 pages of resources not found on the website!                     

What makes this new Impact of Hearing Loss on Listening, Learning, and Social Interactions handout different from the old/free Relationship of Hearing Loss to Listening and Learning?

  1. The sections of possible impact on understanding, possible social/emotional impact, and potential educational accommodations have been thoroughly revised.
  2. Audibility of speech sounds for soft speech (35 dB), conversational speech (45 dB), and teacher speech (50 dB) have been included. A percent audibility is specified as are missing or audible speech sounds.
  3. An example of fragmented listening is provided via a paragraph of instructions with parts of speech eliminated based on decreased audibility.
  4. Possible listening challenges in school have been included, derived from the LIFE-R Student Appraisal. You can either check off the items that the student has identified as challenges, or leave them as is to raise awareness of difficult listening situations.
  5. The footnote contains a check off of important teacher accommodations that you can review to reinforce the necessary accommodations specified in the student’s IEP or 504 Plan.
  6. An instruction sheet has been included with suggestions for use with TODAY’S STUDENTS WITH HEARING LOSS!

What else comes in the Teacher Inservice Combo along with the newly revised Impact of Hearing Loss handout?

The Teacher Inservice Combo is fully digital and includes the following pdf handouts:

  1. Impact of Hearing Loss on Listening, Learning, and Social Interactions (5 pages)
  2. Emailable, computer fillable SIFTERs (Preschool, Elementary, Secondary) (6 pages)
  3. Emailable, computer fillable LIFE-R Teacher Appraisal (2 pages)
  4. Emailable, computer fillable Access to Curriculum Inventory (ATCI) for General Education Teacher (3 pages)
  5. Children with Hearing Loss Miss More Than You Think (1 page)
  6. Listening Comprehension Exercise – Mother’s Aprons (1 page)
  7. Barriers to Listening – Visual analogies of listening in noise, reverberation, and distance (5 pages)
  8. Student Listening Challenges – Understanding the Missing Pieces (1 page)
  9. Attitude is Caught, Not Taught (teacher version) (1 page)
  10. Hearing Aid/Cochlear Implant Monitoring and the Law (1 page)
  11. Hearing Aid Monitoring – An Important Daily Activity (4 pages)
  12. Emailable Tips for Teachers (Early Childhood + K-12) Word version (15 pages)
    All 12 Inservice-related Materials in DIGITAL DOWNLOAD Format for only $39.00 on SALE through September for $33.00