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?