Identifying Student’s Functional Issues in the Classroom

Late October 2018

The evaluation process requires1 that a variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the student to determine if there is a disability that is adversely affecting educational performance. We also must develop a statement about the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance. Classroom observation provides the opportunity to collect data on how the student with hearing loss functions in the classroom in comparison to typical peers. Using the ‘deaf lens’ during observations, systematically considering performance, and obtaining teacher checklist information all help to paint the picture of functional performance and identify issues.

Classroom Observation

We need to observe student behavior using what we know about how hearing loss impacts speech perception, listening, learning, language, and overall social interaction. Classroom observation is a critical part of evaluation and planning to appropriately meet student access accommodation and educational performance needs.

The following “lenses” are what professionals with expertise in the education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing bring to the assessment/IEP team that is different from other educational professionals.

1IDEA Eligibility Determination – Section 300.304(b)(1)


Continue Reading the Late October 2018 Update

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More Tips For Itinerant Teachers

Early October 2018

Itinerant teachers must be ready for anything. Many itinerant teachers have evolved into their role, rather than trained for it.  The transition from classroom teacher to traveling teacher meant altering my expectations and constantly redefining my role in my students’ education. Frustrating as it may seem at times, I find the role of itinerant teacher to be the most fulfilling.

Just as “deaf children are not hearing children who cannot hear”, itinerant teachers are not simply classroom teachers with cars.  Itinerants are also consultants, technology experts, cultural attaches, collaborators, and communicators. Itinerants know that planning and preparation are essential; we also know that all the best planning and preparation can be thwarted by traffic, weather, illness, changing schedules, miscommunication, fire drills, field trips, and heaven forbid—car trouble. Supporting our low incidence students so that their needs can be met in the inclusive classroom takes knowledge, heart, and stamina.

Tips and tricks learned through the years:

Show, don’t tell.  When it comes to discussing the educational impact of hearing loss, it can be more effective to show, rather than tell. A five-minute video or a few seconds of an audio clip demonstrating what a child’s hearing level sounds like can be more effective than anything I have to tell them or any handout I can provide. These demonstrations are very helpful when you are asked the inevitable question, “So what or how much can he/she actually hear?”

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Technology Monitoring Is Necessary For Hearing Device Users

Late September 2018

The job of hearing devices is to improve the audibility of speech, allowing students to perceive much more of verbal instruction and all other spoken communication more fully. By funneling more audible speech information into the brain, the student is able to access more of the curriculum. For our hard of hearing students, hearing devices can be considered the gateway to their educational and social success. For the impact of hearing loss to be minimized optimally, students who are hard of hearing need well fit hearing aids or implants, the devices need to function appropriately, and the student needs to be willing to use the devices in school, and preferably all waking hours. Each of these can be a significant challenge that is a barrier to student success.

Challenge 1: Well-Fit Hearing Devices

One of the results of the 2015 Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss Study1 was that well-fit HAs reduce risk and provides some degree of protection against language delay. Greater aided audibility is associated with better language outcomes in preschool. HAs are well-fit when speech is made as audible as possible by closely matching gain to prescriptive targets, the latter of which is dependent upon the child’s degree and configuration of HL. Another finding of this broad study was that 31% of children who are hard of hearing had hearing aids that were not fit to optimize speech perception. Just because a child is wearing hearing aids does not mean that he is perceiving speech as optimally as possible. Results indicated that optimized audibility made positive contributions to children’s language and auditory development, even for the children with mild hearing loss. Children receiving the most benefit from their HAs (i.e., greatest aided audibility after controlling for the influence of unaided hearing) demonstrated a positive language growth pattern, showing steady improvement in standard scores from age 2 to 6 years. In contrast, children receiving the lowest benefit from hearing aids showed no change in standard scores over the same time period. By 6 years of age, there was a cumulative difference between these groups of two thirds of a standard deviation. In addition, aided audibility was positively associated with multiple measures of word recognition in quiet from ages 2 to 6 years and in noise for 7- to 9-year-olds. Children with greater aided audibility had better auditory development outcomes and speech recognition abilities than children with lower aided audibility across a wide range of ages and outcome measures. These conclusions support the inclusion of aided audibility in the model as a factor that moderates the impact of HL on children’s outcomes.

What Can YOU Do?

1. Obtain consent from the families of students on your caseload to be in touch with their audiologists. Having routine consent to contact the audiologist about the child’s hearing levels and amplification devices will save time if questions arise about how well the child appears to be perceiving speech.

2. Invest the time to identify a child’s level of access to speech under typical school conditions. There is no replacement for the critical information obtained by doing a Functional Listening Evaluation. Students with typical hearing score 95%+ in quiet and 90%+ in noise If a student has been trained to routinely respond to Ling sound audibility checks, take the time to perform the ELFLing, which systematically identifies the ability to perceive the Ling sounds at different distances. If you only have a few minutes, at least do the Iowa Medial Consonant Test, which is a fast check of audibility for specific consonant sounds. If a child has 25-70 dB hearing levels and has worn hearing aids for some time, then a 100% score is expected.

3. Hearing aids should be fit so that students with hearing loss of 70 dB or better can perceive all of the speech phonemes in quiet from 3 feet without watching the speaker’s face. If you have a student who does not seem to be able to do this, bring the issue to the attention of the family and audiologist. If hearing devices are the gateway to learning, removing any barrier to that gateway can only benefit the student’s performance.

Challenge 2: Ensuring that Hearing Devices are Functioning

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Tips For Itinerants – Getting Started In A New School Year

Early September 2018

The beginning of the school year means scheduling, organizing and inservicing – oh my! For itinerant teachers, one of the biggest tricks to starting the school year is getting to everyone in a timely manner to educate them on their student – hearing loss and its impact on learning, accessibility, and technology needs. At best, this can be overwhelming and difficult as one tries to do this with an entire caseload of students, spread around different levels and different schools and, for many of us, even different cities! Couple that with the general education teacher’s beginning of the year schedule, to-do list, and general overwhelm. It can be a recipe for failure! One thing to remember: Inservicing is an ongoing process. It does not happen once at the beginning of the year and then not again until next school year. The beginning of the year is only an introduction – effective inservicing should be ongoing.

How can you get important information to everyone in a timely manner in a way that people can absorb it? How does one efficiently provide ongoing inservicing and support in an already tight schedule? Consider sending a video that can be emailed and accessed when convenient and revisited when needed. This can be an introduction to a topic or need, letting an individual know you’ll be back and will follow up, or can be a short inservicing or follow up on its own. At the beginning of the year, a video can be used to introduce yourself and give immediate “Need To Knows” to teachers, administration and others.

Below is a list of possibilities in using such technology throughout the school year:

  • Introduce yourself to staff, families, administration, and new students.
  • Send student reminders about skills they are working on, upcoming visits, or just to check it.
  • Create tutorials such as “Hearing Loss 101” or “How to Use an FM System.” These can be made once, saved in your account, and sent however often you need to send them.
  • Have students create their own teacher inservices about their hearing loss and their needs. While some students are not yet comfortable approaching a teacher to advocate for themselves or to explain their needs, often times they are more comfortable making a video.
  • Interview students and “introduce” them to other DHH students so students realize they are not alone in their hearing loss. (Of course get parent permission before you share their video with others.)
  • Sign language tutorials for parents, teachers, and the students themselves
    Show and tell of what a student is currently working on. This can support the general education teacher as well as families in knowing current skills and expectations as well as help them support skill development in the general education classroom and at home.
  • Troubleshooting tutorials for the FM system and other technology.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list. There are many more ways to utilize video technology in building capacity in working with your students as you work to enlist the village.

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Dear Classroom Teacher: You Have A Student With Hearing Loss

August 2018

Each Fall, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing scramble to contact each of their student’s classroom teachers about the impact of hearing loss on educational performance and what the teacher needs to do to accommodate the student’s unique learning needs.

Without inservicing the teachers, it is likely that they will believe:
(1) hearing devices will ‘fix’ all of the listening issues,
(2) the student will ask when they missed something or didn’t hear completely,
(3) the student is distractible or inattentive, does not pay attention during class discussion
(4) the student may have a learning disorder because they don’t seem to be able to follow directions and get to work like other students,
(5) they do not participate equally in group activities, letting their peers do most of the work

Students with hearing loss don’t know what they didn’t hear because they didn’t hear it, yet they are routinely held accountable for information that they never perceived.

A student will not receive equal access to classroom communication unless the teacher is aware of the impact of the hearing loss and what is required to ‘level the playing field’ for these students.

With sizable caseloads across a number of schools, getting to all of the teachers before the year starts or during the first week of school for a face-to-face meeting can be impossible.

How can the itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing more effectively contact classroom teachers early in the school year?

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Evaluation Considerations – Low Average ≠ ‘Okay’

May 2018

The abilities of children with hearing loss, whether they are exiting from early intervention or are already school-aged, are typically evaluated to identify overall delays or learning disorders.Since children with hearing loss have access issues learning language due to barriers caused by the hearing loss, they often score ‘low-average’ on norm-referenced language tests. Rather than having overall delays, the access issues caused by hearing loss often result in ‘spotty skills’ or learning gaps that are not identified by typically used evaluation instruments. Because these needs are not identified by typical measures, our students are often denied eligibility for specialized instruction and supports. The specialist in education of students with hearing loss needs to be a member of the evaluation team to help tailor the assessment process to identify the unique needs of these children.

Research has consistently revealed that a ‘good’ result of early intervention for children with hearing loss is a standard score of -1 SD to -1.5 SD on norm-referenced language tests (standard score 78-88 range). All too often teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing have sat in meetings where the evaluation team has described these results as ‘normal’ and ‘he will be okay.’ After all, special education is not preventative, it is for children who have identifiable disabilities. ‘Low-normal’ does not equal a disability. Yet professionals who work with these students realize that there ARE language issues, including ‘Swiss cheese language’ which influences comprehension, delays in syntax learning, and in early literacy skills.

Using Norm-Referenced Tests to Determine Eligibility

The purpose of the testing is to identify an educational disability or adverse educational effect on educational performance. For children with hearing loss, assessment needs to be sufficient in scope and intensity to identify gaps in auditory (or sign language development), language, narrative discourse, academic, literacy, and social language skills. Information needs to be collected that reflects the student’s ability to function in situations similar to the school setting, including typical use of amplification.

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Determining Annual Yearly Progress

Late April 2018

The U.S. Department of Education gives each State the right to determine what constitutes adequate yearly progress (AYP) based on that State’s final assessment system. Instruction must be rigorous enough to demonstrate “continuous and substantial” yearly progress. High-stakes standardized testing is one measure of school achievement and competency. At the least, the results of this testing can determine whether accommodations have been successful, and services have been effective in preventing a widening achievement gap. At most, results can determine whether a student is promoted to the next grade or graduates. Though high-stakes testing is one measure of academic achievement, it cannot be the only source of data used to determine whether a student has made substantial gains toward AYP. With the weight of these considerations at stake, it is no wonder parents, students, and teachers may feel pressured by the impact of these tests.

The number of students who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) served in the general education setting continues to grow. However, these students still lag behind their hearing peers, specifically in language and reading, secondary to the impact of hearing loss. This has made the need for appropriate supports and services by personnel with highly specialized skills and knowledge a critical factor for success. Under IDEA, states must use information about the performance of children with disabilities in state and district-wide assessment programs to revise their State Improvement Plans, as needed, to improve their performance.

Educators cannot wait until the end of year to determine if teaching practices, accommodations, and services have been effective. Progress monitoring is critical.

Disadvantages of High-Stakes Testing for Students with Hearing Loss

  • Results of high-stakes testing may underestimate a student’s actual skill and abilities. Students who are DHH, especially those included in a general education setting, are often at a disadvantage during high-stakes testing due to their limited knowledge of the language style and structure of the tests. Tests use phrasing, grammar, and syntax that differs from everyday English, often including idioms, multiple meaning words, and complex grammar that is unnecessary to comprehension of text. For a student with an interpreter, the interpreter may account for the student’s language ability and modify communication to assist comprehension. If familiar presentation of the language is not used during high-stakes testing, the consequence is an unfair disadvantage when the testing is presented in written form.
  • For students who use sign language to communicate, some schools allow only a verbatim interpretation of the test. For a student who receives the accommodation of signed translation for test items and/or questions, the ASL interpreter must now change the communication system to present the test items as they are written.
  • Students who are DHH being educated in the general education setting are typically the only student in that classroom with hearing loss. The student’s teacher is likely to be unfamiliar with the effects that hearing loss can have on equity of test results in comparison to typically hearing peers.

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Self-Advocacy Instruction – Necessary for Full Participation

Early April 2018

The ‘bread and butter’ of itinerant support to students with hearing loss is often considered to be ensuring communication access, supporting language development, and self-advocacy skills training. While access relates to ADA requirements, and supporting language is linked to academics, training in self-advocacy is too often considered to be non-academic and therefore not necessary. One thing we know for sure about our students is that they will miss or misunderstand more communication than their peers. This is the basis for ongoing language and vocabulary issues and underlies the need for self-advocacy. Access and teacher accommodations cannot close all ongoing speech perception or communication gaps. It truly is necessary to teach self-advocacy skills to enable students to fully participate in the classroom and act appropriately when they know they have not fully received or understood information.

If a student who was low vision was continually knocking into people, desks, and classroom walls due to the inability to clearly see everything, a vision specialist would likely be called in to assist the student in developing appropriate orientation and mobility skills. A student with hearing loss often incompletely hears, misses spoken information, or misunderstands what is said. Self-Advocacy training is to a student with hearing loss what orientation and mobility training is to a student with visual impairment.

Students do not know what they didn’t hear because they didn’t hear it – yet they are often held accountable for receiving and fully understanding this information. Full participation in the classroom requires that a student recognize when a communication breakdown occurs, and self-advocate for their listening and learning needs. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing must have the knowledge and skills to access accommodations and support in any setting and as an integral part of an independent adulthood. Ideally, students would have instruction in self-advocacy from preschool through grade 4 (about age 10). As they reach the tween and teen years, focus should change on supporting the student’s ability to problem-solve communication issues as part of their self-determination of future goals.

Continue Reading the Early April 2018 Update

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Teen Transition – A Necessary Part of Future Success

Late March 2018

Transition services are required for students who are receiving specialized services under IEPs, starting no later than age 14. Unfortunately, Transition is often thought to be satisfied by a check off form with little true instruction. Effective and timely instruction during Transition is necessary for the future success of students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

For more than 45 years, researchers have demonstrated how transition from school to postschool environments can be affected. The keys to success in transition are not many, and they are not complex. Nonetheless, few schools “do” transition successfully. The National Deaf Center has links to Postsecondary Outcomes of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing in each state. Nationally, only 48% of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing are employed and employment rates increase with education and training. Good Teen Transition services mean better readiness for post-secondary success. How did students in your state do in postsecondary achievement?

Transition services means a coordinated set of activities that are outcome oriented, based on the student’s individual needs and preferences, to prepare them to face life as an adult. In 2007, the Office of Special Education Programs required states to develop a comprehensive state plan on 20 specific indicators; Indicator 13 dealt with Transition. The questions that the IEP team should ask of each student’s education program at Transition are:

1. Are there appropriate measurable postsecondary goals in the areas of training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills?

2. Are the postsecondary goals updated annually?

3. Is there evidence that the measurable postsecondary goals were based on age appropriate transition assessment(s)?

4. Are there transition services in the IEP that will reasonably enable the student to meet his or her postsecondary goals?

5. Do the transition services include courses of study that will reasonably enable the student to meet his or her postsecondary goals?

6. Is (are) there annual IEP goal(s) related to the student’s transition service needs?

7. Is there evidence that the student was invited to the IEP team meeting where transition services were discussed?

8. If appropriate, is there evidence that a representative of any participating agency was invited to the IEP team meeting?

From the National Deaf Center, a 2-page transition guide specifies Essential Transition Questions:

Continue Reading the Late March 2018 Update

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Progress Monitoring – Gains Equal to Peers?

Early March 2018

Hearing loss is a barrier that limits access to ongoing communication in the environment. For students who are hard of hearing this means that they do not perceive 90% or more of speech, especially if it occurs beyond the 3-6 foot range. Decreased speech perception translates into decreased comprehension, especially of novel words and new information. For students who are deaf and visual communicators, most only receive communication from their classroom interpreter with little meaningful conversation or information exchange directly with peers. Progress through the curriculum at the same rate as class peers with typical hearing assumes that the student has received the same information as those peers. It’s all about access!

We need to not only strive to close language and learning gaps, we need to simultaneously support our students in keeping up with the day-to-day learning in the classroom. We MUST monitor progress to know if full access is truly occurring and to ensure that our students are keeping pace with classroom expectations. Without appropriate support, the trajectory of educational performance shown above is all too likely. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing with no other learning issues – with full access to school communication – CAN progress at the expected rate IF they are receiving the appropriate intensity of focused support.

Monitor and Compare – Progress from Year-to-Year

Review your student files semi-annually for young children and annually for school-age students. Specifically, look at norm-referenced test results, like the high-stakes tests or language evaluations. Have the student’s percentile scores stayed constant? With your focused intervention and appropriate supports, has the student’s percentile scores improved? Or, like the figure above depicts, has the student experienced inappropriate access issues and insufficient supports causing a decrease in performance over time.

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Equal Access Includes Appropriate Accommodations During Testing

Late February 2018

Schools and teachers have recently been held accountable for the progress made by each and every student. Many state departments of education and districts have defined the accommodations that can be provided to students with special needs so that fair access, but no unfair advantage is provided.

With only 1:100 IEPs for students eligible for specialized instruction due to hearing loss, the access issues secondary to being deaf or hard of hearing are often unrecognized or minimized.  The unique needs of students with hearing loss may not be thoroughly recognized in the administrative testing policies, requiring us to advocate so that students who are DHH are tested fairly for their knowledge, and not their inability to fully perceive the test items.

Test accommodations are changes made in the test presentation or response method so that students can demonstrate what they know about the content without changing the content of what is intended to be measured. Valid accommodations produce scores for students with disabilities that measure the same attributes as standard assessments measured in non-disabled students.

The purpose of accommodations is to ‘level the playing field’, thereby improving access to the material presented in instruction and to ensure accurate assessment of student knowledge of the test material. Many students use accommodations that are commonly used by other students with special needs, such as extended time, and also use accommodations that fit the unique communication and learning needs of this population. Standardized, high-stakes testing presumes a certain level of English proficiency that is not necessarily appropriate for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. High-stakes tests have a highly verbal aspect, therefore, students with restricted language skills are at a distinct disadvantage. When expressive and receptive language levels and modalities used by students with hearing loss are considered, and how these may differ significantly from those of English-based hearing students, the need for accommodations becomes even more apparent. Reading is auditorilly based and learning to read at the same rate and to the same level of peers is often challenging. Students who are deaf/hard of hearing may be one or more years delayed in reading as compared to their typically hearing classmates. Often, decisions about what accommodations are necessary are made by IEP team members without an adequate understanding of, or training in, the impact of hearing loss on interaction and performance.

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Auditory / Sign Language Skill Development

Early February 2018

Providing communication access to students often includes auxiliary aids and services, like hearing aids, FM/DM hearing assistance technology, and/or sign language interpreters. Yet we cannot assume that students are using these accommodations as well as they need to if they are to access information optimally.

Although students who are hard of hearing now receive hearing aids at much younger ages than they did in decades past, they still will not learn all of the auditory skills hierarchy (by age 4 as their hearing peers do) – unless direct teaching occurs.

A student may have been raised with ASL as his primary language, or he may be in a ‘learn as you go’ situation with this communication modality added later in early childhood. Understanding what the interpreter is signing is a prerequisite for this accommodation to truly provide communication access.

Just because we provide hearing devices and/or an interpreter, does not mean the student can use this input effectively.

This fact may come as an ‘aha’ to administrators and educators who ‘see that the child can hear’ or ‘see that the child watches the interpreter.’ Optimizing how well the student is able to benefit from the communication that they perceive only makes sense if we are to truly ‘level the playing field’ and provide an appropriate education to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The PARC: Placement and Readiness Checklists for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing include a General Inclusion Checklist and an Instructional Communication Access Checklist that are useful in identifying the level of access and readiness of students, regardless of their communication modalities. There are specific Placement and Readiness Checklists for Preschool/Kindergarten, Elementary, and Secondary grade students. Finally, there is the Interpreted/ Transliterated Education Readiness Checklist that iterates many factors that go into a student being able to fully benefit from a sign language interpreter or cued speech transliterator.

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Keys to Improving Reading Skills

Late January 2018

Reading is foundational to school success. It takes approximately 20,000 hours of listening to speech before a child’s brain has clear mental referents for each of the speech sounds1. This ability is necessary to enjoy rhyming and to develop phonological awareness skills. Reading is parasitic on listening. Listening can be thought of as applying meaning to sound, allowing the brain to organize, establish vocabulary, develop receptive and expressive language, learn, internalize, and indeed listening is where hearing meets brain2. As we read we ‘listen to ourselves read aloud in our heads’ as a precursor for gaining meaning. Anything that slows down reading fluency will interfere with reading comprehension and overall success. Even students who are visual learners must develop adequate phonological awareness using visual, rather than auditory, techniques. A whole-word approach to reading will never allow students to keep up or prepare for the content comprehension demands of secondary school and beyond. The One World Literacy Foundation has found that 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a 4th grade level. We can predict that if a child is not reading proficiently in the 4th grade, he or she will have approximately a 78% chance of not catching up3.

It has been said that reading is parasitic on language, but more fundamentally, verbal language learning is reliant on hearing the sounds of speech throughout everyday activities and environments. Therefore, phonological skills reflect a child’s fine-tuned auditory perception ability. The 2000 National Reading Panel, in their report: Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction, stated that the best predictor of reading difficulty in kindergarten or first grade is the inability to segment words and syllables into constituent sound units (phonemic awareness).” Whether a child has the residual hearing for this fine auditory discrimination or teaching/learning is via cued speech or visual phonics, it is clear that children with hearing loss must hone their phonemic awareness skills if they are ever to achieve the reading fluency needed to keep up in secondary school.

Continue reading the Late January 2018 Update

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Determining Appropriate Service Delivery to Improve Outcomes

Early January 2018

Regardless of the move to full inclusion and the shortage of teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, school teams remain obligated to student identify areas of educational need, appropriate IEP goals, amount of service time needed, by whom, and in what setting.

In the March 22, 2017 US Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “…IDEA demands more. It requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”  If a child is not fully included, school officials must look at the child’s unique needs and required level of specialized instruction before developing an IEP that is “pursuing academic and functional advancement.” If a child is 6 months behind expected achievement levels, an itinerant DHH teacher cannot maintain a year’s growth and also make up the level of delay with only twice per week 30-minute sessions of service. Providing an inappropriate amount of educational support will not result in the needed level of student outcomes nor will it make teachers of the DHH appear effectual.

One result of the Supporting Success survey last April to identify the roles and responsibilities of itinerant teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing indicated that 25% of respondents used matrices to guide to their discussions in the determination of the level of service delivery.

Continue reading the Early January 2018 Update

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A Few of the New Features for Interact-AS™

Register for the Interact-AS Webinar on Thursday February 22 at 3:00pm CST. Attend to Earn 1 CEU!      

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 the next Free Interact-AS Webinar on February 22 at 3:00pm CST.    

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 Captioning Options with Multiple Speakers: 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 and enter the name of your Streamer™ account (usually the name of your school) and that’s it.

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 now 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 !!!




Robert Palmquist
President & CEO, SpeechGear, Inc and Auditory Sciences, LLC.

205 South Water Street, Northfield, MN . 55057 | 507.645-8924

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One Cost of Being the Lone ‘DHH Kid’ & the Need to Assess Social/Emotional Issues

Early December 2017

Increasingly, students with hearing loss are educated in their neighborhood schools and often the only student in their grade or school to use hearing devices or sign language. They are at higher risk than peers for teasing, and often have difficulty developing a healthy identity as a person who has a hearing loss. A thorough evaluation of educational performance includes considering social/emotional issues. Only looking at grades and receptive/expressive language is NOT an in-depth assessment! Why are children with hearing loss prone to these issues? What ARE the concerns we should be trying to identify? What are some means to identify social/emotional issues occurring in students with hearing loss?

Continue reading the Early December 2017 Update

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Pace of Learning & Keeping Up in the Classroom

Late November 2017

As you are probably aware, education has changed with teacher lecture becoming less prominent as an educational practice. Typically, new information is presented in a lecture format supplemented by reading material, until students build surface knowledge of the topic. Interaction activities such as classroom discussion, small group work and partner problem-solving are used to solidify surface knowledge and to move students to a deeper level of understanding1. Therefore, how well students are able to participate in the classroom setting truly impacts their move toward deeper understanding.

This article focuses on the ‘unseen’ challenges that children with hearing loss often experience when trying to keep up in the regular education setting.

Continue reading the Late November 2017 Update

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Brain On? Hearing Device Monitoring is Necessary for Access to Education

Early November 2017

At the October Clarke Mainstream Conference Dr. Carol Flexer emphasized how hearing loss is about the brain, not the ears. Hearing devices are needed to activate the brain and to access spoken communication for learning. While the audience laughed as she said, “Your brain is in your pocket! Oh no!” it is a cruel reality that about 25% of students do not (consistently) use their hearing aids1 and that 50% of children’s hearing aids malfunction on any given day2.

In the US, IDEA specifies3 that for children with IEPs the schools must ensure that the hearing devices worn by students with hearing loss are functioning. Indeed, malfunction rates can drop to less than 1% if an effective hearing aid monitoring program is in place.

Continue reading the Early November 2017 Update

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Tailoring Assessment for Eligibility for Specialized Instruction

Late October 2017

Tailoring Assessment for Eligibility for Specialized Instruction

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_127559380_m-2015.jpgThe great news is that early identification of hearing loss, improvements in hearing technology, and parent involvement in high quality early intervention services REALLY WORK to improve developmental outcomes by age three. Even so at least 40% of children have the cognitive capacity for higher language levels. All too often transition teams who are evaluating students for eligibility upon school age to deem that they are ‘fine’ and need no extra services or supports.

Can he qualify? Yes! This is possible IF there is someone on the multidisciplinary team who truly understands the impact of hearing loss on development AND knows appropriate assessments to use to tailor the evaluation process to the risk areas of students with hearing loss.

Read more about appropriate assessment for students with hearing loss

Steps to Assessment

Guide to Identifying Educational Needs for Students with Hearing Loss

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Steps to Assess 4.jpgTeachers who use this guide will have a much better understanding of the vulnerable areas of development due to hearing loss, how the areas interconnect, and ultimately how they are the experts in using the ‘deaf lens’ to contribute to their evaluation teams and service planning. The focus of this 290-page guide is appropriate assessment practices for children from transition to school at age 3 through high school. Categories of assessment are presented, as are ways to tease out information from assessment results to illustrate how to identify needs to support eligibility.

Download this Informational handout describing
Steps to Assessment to share with your Team!

Read more about Steps to Assessment

What’s New? National Microtia Awareness Day is November 9th!

Last year’s first national awareness day was amazing! Families and deaf educators raised awareness with their children at school and helped educate about hearing loss, hearing devices, and Microtia and Atresia.  Supporting Success was one of a number of websites that spread the word about National Microtia Awareness Day. If you would like to purchase an official National Microtia Awareness Day t-shirt or any awareness accessories, you can do so by going to the front page on Ear Community’s website at:  Order deadline is October 20th, 2017. 

Read more about Microtia/Atresia on the SSCHL website

Tons of functional performance checklists ready to use or email

If you know and love the Building Skills for Success in the Fast-Paced Classroom book you know that there are many functional assessments throughout the book. Documenting Skills for Success: Data-Gathering Resources was developed following many requests that e-versions of the tools be provided so that they could easily be shared with and completed by classroom teachers and/or the teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing during assessment or progress monitoring. It is intended as an electronic supplement for individuals who have already purchased Building Skills for Success in the Fast-Paced Classroom. Unless someone is purposely monitoring classroom performance over time, emerging gaps can and will be missed!

Documenting Skills for Success has more than 57 tools from Building Skills for Success. There are 10 additional data-gathering tools that included in this e-publication. Of the 67 files, 42 are computer-fillable pdfs.

Read more about Documenting Skills for Success: Data-Gathering Resources

Haven’t seen the new Teacher Tools flippable e-Magazine format yet?    See the FREE Promotional Issue!

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\KKV logo with STRONG.JPGDescription: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Teacher Tools box logo.jpgThe new format allows members to quickly page through ALL of the materials. A good fit for busy, on the go teachers! The October e-Magazine was packed with over 50 pages of information and teaching tools to have at your fingertips! The November issue will be posted in one more week!
JOIN NOW!     We already have almost 1000 members!     LOGIN NOW

We need more Kool Kidz Vidz! You will receive a $50 coupon for Supporting Success products as our Thank You to you. If you have a student grade K-12 that you would think would be great at stating who they are, challenges, and what they do to help themselves, then consider submitting a Kool Kidz Vid!  A terrific culmination activity for self-advocacy, self-determination, and transition skill goals.

More about Evaluation and Eligibility:

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_28179053_s-2015.jpgFind more information on the Supporting Success website:


Download an eye-catching evaluation results summary form you can customize HERE.

The big 5 – Can you guess???

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_13884242_m-2015.jpgI am often asked, if I had to choose, which would be the most important assessments for teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing to routinely use during eligibility and 3-year evaluations.

  • We need to consider the vulnerabilities specific to our students with hearing loss.
  • We need to gather information that will reflect educational performance issues common to our students who may be doing ‘okay’ academically.
  • We need to have assessments appropriate for students using all communication modalities.
  • We also need to be able to speak strongly about the need for teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing and educational audiologists to be important members of the evaluation team who perform assessments specifically tailored to the vulnerable areas of our students.

See if you guessed right!!!

Steps to Assessment Workshop – Experience this 9-hour workshop with your DHH team!  

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\TNL-2.jpgNever before has it been as important for teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing to be directly involved in assessing student skills and needs. With increasing numbers of students entering school with low average language skills and ‘pretty good speech’ school teams are more resistant to finding them eligible for services. And yet the access issues related to hearing loss cause many subtle areas of need in our students that the standard assessment practices often do not address. This Workshop will inform you of which areas are most critical to assess, why this is so, how to assess, and provide some recommendations on appropriate assessments that can be used. You have 300 days to view the 9.25 hour webcast and can view the 7 modules of 60-90 minutes each in whatever order you prefer. Purchase it for individual view or discounted group rates for your whole DHH team.

Read more about the webcasts

Advocacy Notes – Children with Disabilities in Virtual Schools

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_129509528_m-2015.jpgSuccess in mainstream classrooms when you have a hearing loss is often a substantial challenge for our students. Increasingly, parents are exploring the option of enrolling their student in virtual school learning programs.  In August, 2016, the US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter defining school’s responsibilities to students with disabilities enrolled in virtual learning settings. The letter affirmed that virtual schools must carry out the requirements of IDEA as must physical schools.

Read more for specifics for virtual schools

Do any of your students need captioning for equal access? Consider Interact-AS!

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\screenshot of InteractAS.JPGDo any of your students need captioning for equal access? Consider Interact-AS!

Interact-AS has been used successfully across the US and Canada, especially for secondary students who are hard of hearing. Do you have a student with good reading skills who just can’t quite keep up with the instructional content presented in the classroom? Interact-AS also now has options for captioning of small group discussions.
Read more for the new developments in this speech-to-text captioning software.

The next FREE webinar demonstrating and describing the use of Interact-AS captioning will be on October 24th at 1:30 PM CT. One clock-hour CEU is offered for any interested participants.

Register for the free October webinar HERE

Upcoming Presentations

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_4757785_s-2015.jpgby Karen Anderson, PhD, Director of Supporting Success
October 19-20 – MA (Marlborough)
November 2 – MB (Winnipeg)
March 29 – TX (Houston)
April 10 – IL (Tinley Park)

Now booking for Summer 2018 Presentations!

Read here for more detail

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Is Inclusion Good for Students with Hearing Loss?

Early October 2017

Is the Inclusion Model Good for Students with Hearing Loss?

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_5826642_XL.JPGSpecial education students are first and foremost general education students. Many, if not most, school districts in the US are actively embracing the inclusion model of education, in which virtually all students are educated in the mainstream classroom, regardless of the diversity of their needs.

Students with hearing loss have special needs but not they are not due to learning disorders like most other special education populations. The primary difference between students with hearing loss and their classmates is that they do not access speech as fully. Students with hearing loss who are DHH-only have learning gaps and special needs secondary to access to communication issues, not learning disorders.

Read more about the detriments and benefits of inclusion for students who are DHH.

6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY – Building Skills for Success in the Fast-Paced Classroom

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Building Skills 1.jpgThe book that defines expanded core DHH services!
The Building Skills for Success book has been lauded by hundreds of DHH professionals as the ‘itinerant bible.’  Many DHH teachers across the US and Canada refer to ‘The Book’ most teaching days. The introduction to each chapter provides you with language you can use when you are challenged by administrators about why your student needs these services. With the book comes 50 downloadable files for you to use with your caseload. The Building Skills book now comes in a 3-ring binder with plenty of room to add your own teaching materials or to integrate those that come with Building Skills for Independence, Steps to Success, Advocacy in Action, and other resources you can readily find on the Supporting Success website.                  

Don’t have Building Skills for Success yet? Read more here

What’s New? Authoritative Resource to Support the Need for DHH Teachers

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_58808099_s-2015.jpgLast May, representatives of the Council for Exceptional Children – Division of Communication Disorders and Deafness released Teachers of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:  A Critical Resource Needed for Legal Compliance. This document reviews the foundations for why credentialed teachers of students who are deaf/hard of hearing are critical to providing appropriate evaluation, programming, planning, and student-centered instruction.

Download it from the Important Resources at the bottom of the SSCHL Home Page

NEW to SSCHL – Evidence-Based Practice in Educating Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students 

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Evidence-Based Practice in Educating DHH Students.jpgThe new buzz phrase in education seems to be evidence-based practices. Yet what ARE the EBP for deaf education? Two famous researchers in our field, Mark Marshark and Pat Spencer, teamed together to critically review the literature and summarize the findings. The research base has been boiled down into very understandable nuggets that teachers can share with administrators and use to guide their practice.  Included is a 5-page Key Findings Index that is in the front of the book that provides ‘sound bite’ summaries of the research findings.

This book is a MUST for every DHH program and should be on the shelf of every administrator who oversees programmatic and individual decisions for students with hearing loss.

With so many questions about appropriate programs and necessary services (such as: is it REALLY necessary to have the DHH teacher on the IEP???) it makes sense for all professionals involved in education of students with hearing loss to own, or have ready access to this book!

Read more about Evidence-Based Practice in Educating DHH Students

Teacher Tools Fippable e-Magazine – the OCTOBER Issue is Now Posted!

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Teacher Tools box logo.jpgView the Table of Contents

The new format allows members to quickly page through ALL of the materials. A good fit for busy, on the go teachers! We now have over 800 members!


Thanks to those of you who have struggled to get into your Teacher Tools account. Our beautiful new website came with some issues we have slowly been working through. Please let us know if you need help!  Contact

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Conference Logo.jpgWhat Should be the Format of the Supporting Success Conference?


Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\Dropbox (SSCHL)\Constant Contact\Photos - High Quality\Depositphotos_42286955_m-2015.jpgPlease answer this survey to help determine the format of the February 2019 Supporting Success Conference. Onsite, face-to-face conferences are expense and fewer districts are allowing release time for teachers. Please weigh-in on what you think about a face-to-face versus an online, virtual conference. Your input is very important!!!!  GO TO THE 1-QUESTION SURVEY NOW.

Resources from SSCHL – More About Appropriate Services for Students with Hearing Loss
Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_28179053_s-2015.jpgFind more information on the Supporting Success website:

Promoting Language & Literacy in Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing – evidence-based practices for assessment and intervention with children, birth through school-age

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Promoting Language and Literacy in Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing 2.jpgResearch results have been used as the basis for practice recommendations throughout the book. It is cutting edge! About half of the book is devoted to birth-3. There is a chapter on visual communication modalities followed by a chapter on auditory verbal therapy so there isn’t a single-sided viewpoint presented on communication. The chapters on phonological development, supportive early childhood practices, theory of mind, literacy development and teaching writing would be rich reading for any teacher of school-aged children. The chapters include wonderful case studies and what is especially beneficial is the CD that is filled with video clips of assessment and teaching strategies. There are tons of inspiring clips, each associated with specific information from a chapter. This book is valuable for any professional who works with children or students with hearing loss and their families.

Read more about Promoting Language & Literacy in Children who are DHH

WEBCASTS to Support Appropriate Student Services  

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\TNL-2.jpgThe more you know about the law and its requirements, the better you can advocate for your student and the need for YOU to provide services to address their unique needs due to hearing loss. We have just pulled together a new Trio Combo, providing reduced pricing when all three of the following webcasts are purchased together. Only $40 for all 3!

Making the Case: Legal Interpretations to Remember (45 min)
Match It! Sell It! Guarantee It! Getting Your Students the Support They Need to Achieve (60 min)
We are Zebra Experts: Recognizing the Needs of Zebras in a World of Horses (45 min)

Go to the WEBCAST CATALOG or directly to the Trio Combo page

Read more about the webcasts

Advocacy Notes – In a Nutshell

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_100383942_m-2015.jpgWe know about IDEA, ADA, FAPE and other acronyms for terms related to providing Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_82128142_m-2015.jpgservices and supports to our students with hearing loss. Below are some of the basics that underlie who, why, and how we are required to provide support for students who are deaf or hard of hearing within the US. At YOUR fingertips!

Read More for the Legal Framework in a Nutshell

Upcoming Presentations

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_4757785_s-2015.jpgby Karen Anderson, PhD, Director of Supporting Success
October 12-13 – LA (Lafayette)
October 19-20 – MA (Marlborough)
November 2 – MB (Winnipeg)
November 10-11 – WI (Appleton)

It was fun as part of my keynote in Minot ND to conduct an onsite, app-enabled Roles and Responsibilities survey with the participants! Cool!   
Now booking for 2018 Presentations!

Read here for more information


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Speech Perception Impact on Educational Performance

 Late September 2017
 “I know he hears me!” – Speech Perception Impact on Educational Performance

Description: primary difference between students with hearing loss and their typically hearing peers is that they do not access speech as fully. This is well known to the readers of the SSCHL Bimonthly Updates but is often unrecognized by school staff who ‘know’ that the child can hear them just fine.

Classrooms are often noisy and the person the child needs to hear is often more than 3 feet from the hearing aid microphones. While individuals can detect sound occurring beyond 3 feet, to truly perceive sounds like s, f, t, p (as in cat, cap, cast, calf) speech must be within the student’s listening bubble. 

Read more about speech perception, the listening bubble, and impact on learning.



Students with Hearing Loss Typically have SYNTAX Deficits

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\keyboard not needed.pngYOU NEED Cracking the Grammar Code!
Students often do not perceive high frequency speech sounds and many of the brief, barely audible portions of speech, which results in delayed grammar (syntax) skills. NOW AVAILABLE FROM Cracking the Grammar Code – FREE SYNTAX ASSESSMENT CHECKLISTS!   CGC has four books that can be purchased together or separately: (1) Nouns, Articles & Conjunctions + Vocabulary Enhancement Glossary (2) Verbs, (3) Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs & Prepositional Phrases.  After administering the functional assessment, it will specify what activity number in which of the books to start working on to address the student’s syntax deficits. CGC has many activities for each syntax deficit area.

Read more about Cracking the Grammar Code



What’s New? Technology Advancements for Interact-AS

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\Desktop\SS4CHL\Game Development\Cracking the Grammar Code\New version develolpment, spring 2017\Cracking the Code_Sample Book_cover.jpgIncreasingly, 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 small group situations. Register for our first Interact-AS webinar on Sept 20th at 1:30 CT.     

Read more about the new microphone options



On SALE through September! The NEW Teacher Inservice Combo 

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_159982816_s-2015.jpgThe new Impact of Hearing Loss on Listening, Learning, and Social Interactionsincluded 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!

Read more about the NEW Teacher Inservice Combo




Members are LOVING the new Teacher Tools flippable e-Magazine format!
Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\KKV logo with STRONG.JPGDescription: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Teacher Tools box logo.jpg

The new format allows members to quickly page through ALL of the materials. A good fit for busy, on the go teachers! Join NOW!

We need more Kool Kidz Vidz! If you have a student grade K-12 that you would think would be great at stating who they are, challenges, and what they do to help themselves, then consider submitting a Kool Kidz Vid!  A terrific goal for the student who can ‘inservice’ their own teacher(s). You will receive a $50 coupon for Supporting Success products as our Thank You to you.



More about Speech Perception and the Impact on Educational Performance:
Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_28179053_s-2015.jpg
Find more information on the Supporting Success website:
The Impact of Hearing Loss on Child Development and School Performance
Speech Perception and Learning
Access via the ADA


Test of Narrative Language

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\TNL-2.jpgSo often our students test out ‘normal’ on receptive/expressive vocabulary or other language tests but you KNOW that he cannot carry on a typical conversation or relate a story of an event like age peers. The Test of Narrative Language is a fast, easy to use test that provides insights to a student’s ability to interact, that are not identified by standard language tests.

Read more



Using the Recorded Functional Listening Evaluation Using Sentences  

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\TNL-2.jpgDescription: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\FLE.JPGThere 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.

Read more

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

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_129509528_m-2015.jpgIn 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. In July, Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss released the 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. 

Read more about the White Paper

Upcoming Presentations

Description: C:\Users\Karen L Anderson\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Depositphotos_4757785_s-2015.jpgby Karen Anderson, PhD, Director of Supporting Success
September 22 – ND (Minot)
October 12-13 – LA (Lafayette)
October 19-20 – MA (Marlborough)
November 2 – MB (Winnipeg)

Now booking for 2018 Presentations!

Read here for more detail

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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.

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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!

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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?
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First Impressions – Inservicing Busy Classroom Teachers


Supporting Success
for Children with Hearing Loss

Bimonthly Update
Early September 2017

First Impressions – Inservicing Busy Classroom Teachers

School Start = Teacher Inservice Time!

Each Fall, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing scramble to get into each of their student’s classrooms and inservice the teacher(s) about the impact of hearing loss on educational performance and what the teacher needs to do to accommodate the student’s unique learning needs.

Read More >

BRAND NEW! Teacher Inservice Combo – On SALE through September

If you like the ‘Relationship of Hearing Loss to Listening and Learning Needs’ you will LOVE the new Impact of Hearing Loss on Listening, Learning, and Social Interactions. The Teacher Inservice Combo replaces our previous Inservice Combo and comes with 12 downloadable handouts and checklists (including the fillable SIFTERs!) – ready to use with classroom teachers!

Read more >

New Version of the SSCHL Website!

Our Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss website has a fresh, new look and is fully mobile accessible. More easily navigated, you will still be able to find the information you have learned to rely on. Visit the new website NOW! 

Thank you for your patience as we get our huge website fully up and running. Focusing on these tweaks and preparing this Update in a new format contributed to this Bimonthly Update coming out late. We have changed to make Supporting Success a better experience for YOU!

We Also Have a New Online Shopping Cart!

View our Catalog and explore the new layout of our selection of products. The new shopping cart supports multiple shipping carriers and a separate system for fair international shipping solutions.

More Resources for Easy Inservicing of
School Staff and Classroom Peers


Teacher Tools

We are kicking off the Teacher Tools subscription year with over 500 members. Renew or join now!

Our new Teacher Tools e-Magazine format is amazing! Like a real magazine, this digital version allows you to quickly flip through the pages to see the information most meaningful to you. All articles are downloadable for members to use with their caseload (not ‘freeware) and include many ‘use now’ handout type of teaching materials.

9 issues – September through May. Each issue is packed with downloadable teaching materials and relevant information for teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing!

See our FREE Promotional Issue to get the feel of this beneficial resource.

See the September Table of Contents >

YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED – What Should be the Format of Our Next Supporting Success Conference

Please answer this survey to help determine the format of the 2019 Supporting Success Conference. Onsite, face-to-face conferences are expense and fewer districts are allowing release time for teachers. Please weigh-in on what you think about a face-to-face versus an online, virtual conference. Your input is very important!!!!

Hearing Loss is an Access Issue – Not a Disorder. Share the news with Zebra Decal and Stickers

Call attention to the access needs of students with hearing loss!  The decal is heavy plastic 5” diameter. Moisture resistant and moveable. Put it on your laptop, file cabinet, favorite tall drink container, car window, etc. The decal (1) comes with four 2” diameter stickers (non-removable) to call special attention to notes or permanent surfaces.  An inexpensive way to make a statement!

Read more >

More About the Topic – What’s on the Website?

See the following SSCHL webpages for information related to the topic:

Other Resources on Teacher Inservicing

Wait – There’s a Student with Hearing Loss Coming into My Class? Kym Meyer, educational audiologist presented this one-hour presentation via the Hearing Loss Association of America on 8/17/16. Download for free: webinar recording, PPT presentation, links to audio files.  This webinar is a good example of material that can be covered when you inservice school staff.


A new school year brings new opportunities for professional development. See our catalog of webcasts for all of the practical offerings from Supporting Success. FIVE NEW webcasts coming soon!!! As always with Supporting Success webcasts you have 300 days to view your webcast(s) from the date of purchase. CEUs are available upon successful completion.

Advocacy Notes

504 Plans for Students with Hearing Loss

Question from the Field:
If a student has been identified with a significant hearing loss, but is academically at grade level with his peers, is it appropriate to give the student a 504 plan, as long as the student is able to receive direct services from a DHH itinerant for hearing and self-advocacy related skills? What a great question.

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What is Interact-AS? Captioning by a Computer!

For some students, having what the teacher says show up as text on a media device at their desk is just the accommodation they need to be able to keep pace.  Plan to join us for the next free webinar to discuss Interact-AS Speech-to-Text Captioning – September 20th, 2:00 PM Central time zone. Register here.

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Upcoming Presentations

by Karen Anderson, PhD, Director of Supporting Success

  • September 22 – ND (Minot)
  • October 12-13 – LA (Lafayette)
  • October 19-20 – MA (Marlborough)
  • November 2 – Manitoba (Winnipeg)

Schedule now for a presentation in 2018!

More presentation details >

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Teacher Inservice Time

School Start = Teacher Inservice Time! Each Fall, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing scramble to get into each of their student’s classrooms and inservice the teacher(s) about the impact of hearing loss on educational performance and what the teacher needs to do to ac read more

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