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Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream


Also digital versions for individuals and districts

Developing Independent Hearing Aid Use & Self-Advocacy Skills

The Expanded Core Curriculum for Deaf/Hard of Hearing are those skills that students need to learn in order to fully participate in and benefit from the general curriculum. Increasingly, students with hearing loss are the only ones in their grade/school that use hearing devices. It is to the student’s benefit to be his own ‘technology specialist’ and able to monitor/troubleshoot/report when issues occur as they can arise at any time throughout the school day, not just when the teacher may have the time to monitor hearing aid function.

Because hearing aids can malfunction anytime, it is only the student who can verify he is receiving his typical level of access to classroom communication throughout the day. US Law has made the school responsible for ensuring that hearing devices worn by children who are deaf or hard of hearing are functioning properly. Since only the child (if trained) can identify when issues occur, to truly make certain that devices are working, schools must ensure that children have the skills they need to be able to accurately self-monitor and report arising issues.  

Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream was developed as a Guide for DHH professionals to support their work with classroom teachers and with students to develop the skills needed for independence with hearing aids and self-advocacy.  In 2011 the Student Expectations for Advocacy & Monitoring (SEAM) was created as a hierarchy of skill development. Similarly, in 2012, the Guide to Self-Advocacy Skill Development hierarchy was created. Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream is an outgrowth of a simple discussion about just how a DHH professional would go about teaching these skills and working with the classroom teacher to support student independence and self-advocacy.

Karen Anderson and Gail Wright have teamed up to develop this extensive Guide! Over 50% of the pages in  Building Skills for Independence in the  Mainstream are colorful with engaging and thought-provoking images and activities to discuss with your students. Spiral bound, it is designed to be used as a center-piece for your discussions and skill-building practice. Review the 7 sections that comprise the Guide in the Table of Contents listed below. The 50 downloadable files allow students to take information home, they can be given to classroom teachers, posted on classroom walls as a reminder, and of course a number of the materials are provided for data collection. This material will help support new and veteran DHH professionals alike in their work with classroom teachers to facilitate the independence of students with hearing loss!

Printed 128-page Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream Guide + 50 downloadable files $55.00 + S/H

Digital 128-page  Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream e-Guide + 50 downloadable files for Individual DHH professionals $47.00


Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream

Table of Contents


How this Guide is Organized…2
Why it is Important to Develop Hearing Aid Independence and Self-Advocacy Skills…3
SEAM – Student Expectations for Advocacy & Monitoring Hearing Technology…4
Materials to Use from this Guide for Skill Development by Grade…5
Using the SEAM to Support Communication Plan Development…8
Examples of IEP Goals Written to Common Core Standards
Pre-K/Kindergarten IEP Examples…10
First Grade IEP Examples…14
Second Grade IEP Examples…17
Third Grade IEP Examples…19
Fourth Grade IEP Examples…22

Understanding the Importance of Consistent Hearing Aid Use (Information for the DHH professional to Make the Case for Daily Monitoring of Student Hearing Devices….25

Evidence Basis for Focusing on Skill Development for Hearing Aid Independence…26
Evidence of Poor Outcomes from Early Childhood…27
Need for Independence with Hearing Technology…28
Hearing Aid Monitoring and the Law…29
Rejection May be Due to Problems with Amplification…30
Checking Hearing Aids – Why do I need to do that? 31
Only for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing – The Power of Special Considerations…32
Attitude is Caught, Not Taught (teacher version)…34

Supporting the Classroom Teacher’s Understanding of the Amplification Issues of the Student with Hearing Loss… 35

The Name of the Game is Access…36
Example Teacher Inservice PowerPoint Presentation…37
Hearing Loss: Tips for Teachers (handout to accompany inservice presentation)…39
Student Listening Challenges – Understanding the Missing Pieces…40
The Listening Bubble in the Classroom..41
Teacher Self-Talk: Modeling Appropriate Use of Language and Self-Advocacy…42
Setting the Stage for Daily Ling Sound Checks…43
Inserting Hearing Aids Correctly…44
Hearing Aid Monitoring – An Important Daily Activity (summary for classroom teachers)…45
Listening is MY responsibility: Supporting Independent Daily Hearing Device Monitoring…47
Inspecting a Hearing Aid…48
Daily Sound Check: Listening at a Distance in the Classroom…49
Paired Student Listening Checks…50
Performing the Ling Sound Listening Check with Young Children…51
Ling Sound Daily Listening Check (data collection sheet)…53
Hearing Technology Daily Listening Check (data collection sheet)…54
Cumulative Hearing Device Monitoring Results (data collection sheet)…55

Supporting the Student’s Consistent Use of Amplification (How I check my hearing aids)…56

Putting in your own hearing aids is really easy. You can do it all by yourself! (cartoon)…57
Inserting Hearing Aids…58
Listen Right, Listen Left, Listen All Around! Tuning into how your hearing aids are working…59
Listen Right, Listen Left, Listen All Around! (data collection)…60
Inspect Your Hearing Aid Every Day! (cartoon)…61
Test, Test, Test – My Turn to Check (cartoon)…62
A Special Connection (tell someone when your hearing device is not working) (cartoon)…63
Hearing Aid Monitoring Checklist (young child data collection – pictures)…64
K-1 Hearing and listening is MY responsibility (data collection including FM)…65
Hearing Aid Monitoring Checklist (older child – data collection)…66
Grade 2-5 Hearing and listen your best is MY responsibility (data collection)…67

Supporting the Student’s Understanding of Hearing Technology Function and Issues (What I do if there’s a problem)…68

In Your Ear, Not in Here! (cartoon)…69
In Your Ear, Not in Here! (activity)…70
Hearing Aid Battery Placement…71 
Batteries (think ahead so you don’t run out) (cartoon)…72
Trouble Shooting a Hearing Aid (cartoon)…73
Tell Me About Your Hearing Aid – Learning Parts, Function, Fixes (activity)…74
Hearing Aid Troubleshooting Guide card…76 
Sweaty Kid Syndrome (cartoon)…77
The Football Helmet = FM Unit/Hearing Aids (cartoon)…78
Can You Hear Me? (cartoon)…79 
The Power of the ‘L’ (cartoon)…80
AAACK! I Can’t Hear! Try these Troubleshooting Tips First…81
Visual Guide to Using an FM System…82
Example FM Troubleshooting Cards…85

Supporting Positive Interactions with Peers Regarding Amplification Use (How I can tell others about my hearing loss. What I do if someone teases me.)..87

Being the Only Student in the Mainstream: Social Acceptance and Identity Implications…88
Tips for the Class Inservice…90
How do we learn things? (Example PowerPoint Classroom Inservice)…91
Creating Brochures so Students can Share “About Me” Information with Teachers…92
Example “About Me” Brochure…93
Your Teacher is Not a Mind Reader (cartoon)…95
HOW You Say It – Is as Important as WHAT You Say! (discussion activity)…96
The Curious Friend (discussion activity)…97
Teasing: It Happens to Everyone…98
Friendly, Curious or Mean? (cartoon)…100
Bluffing: Teacher Guidance for Student (discussion activity)…101
What Can You Say? (cartoon)…102

Supporting Student Recognition of Listening Challenges (What I do if I can’t understand)…103

Guide to Self-Advocacy Skill Development: Suggestions for Sequence of Attainment…104
Student Listening Inventory For Education – Revised (LIFE-R) situations with photos…102
LIFE-R: After LIFE Self-Advocacy Questions for Students…109
Student Advocacy & Independence Development: SAID Teacher Checklist…112
How do you know when a communication breakdown has happened? (activity)…113
There’s More to Hearing Than Just Using Technology (cartoon)…114
Developing Critical Listening Skills: Did I really hear and understand what was just said?…115
Self-Advocacy Strategies – What Can You Do? (activity)…116
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone (activity)……117
Self-Advocacy Tools: Which Tools Do You Use? (activity)…119
Self-Advocacy and Communication Repair TOOLS (activity)…120
Defining and Applying Use of Tools worksheet (activity)……121
Which of These Caused Your Listening or Understanding Problem? (activity)……122
Self-Advocacy Tool Use Data Collection Sheet…123
Including Communication Repair in the IEP…124
What communication breakdowns have you experienced? (activity)……125
Communication Repair Strategies Summary…126
Examples of Ways to Use Strategies…127

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