Hearing impairment teaching strategies
Adjust teaching methods to accommodate your visual learner's needs by writing all homework assignments, class instructions and procedural changes on the board. Providing a visual cue eliminates confusion on these topics. Remember not to speak while you have your back to the students. If a student is proficient on the computer, look into providing them with a laptop for notes and communication during class.
Arrange desks in a circular pattern if possible so hearing impaired students can see other students. This is especially important if they need to read lips. Consider using a talking stick for group discussions, to help students know who is speaking. Otherwise, repeat other students' comments and questions, acknowledging who made the comment so the hearing impaired student can focus on the speaker. Establish a procedure for emergencies, such as writing the word fire on the board.
Provide students with an outline of the daily lesson and printed copies of the notes, allowing them to focus on discussions and questions while you are teaching. Students can then be more engaged in learning and can easily review the notes at a later time. Since vision becomes a hearing impaired student's primary means for receiving information, utilize visual aids whenever you can. Consider using posters, charts, flash cards, pictures, manipulatives, graphic organizers, artifacts or any visual items to illustrate concepts. Try to use captioned videos in class. Some students with hearing loss may require the use of sound amplification equipment. Make sure students are seated near the equipment and can hear the amplified voices. If the teacher usually uses a microphone, it should be passed around during group discussions.
Follow all established guidelines within the student’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan), regarding classroom adaptations and aids for hearing impaired students. Don’t be afraid to contact your school district if you need help. Often, itinerant teachers and/or consultants are available to answer questions and provide additional training if needed. Consider using an interpreter if the student knows American Sign Language and feels comfortable using it during class.