Helpful Tips On Hearing Loss Vs Non Hearing Loss

Hearing Facts and Other Helpful Tidbits for Educators

In the United States alone, around 5,000 babies are born with a significant hearing impairment. The hearing impairment can be due to congenital or postnatal conditions that develop over the infants lifetime. Seventy-five percent of children with a hearing impairment are due to a postnatal issue. Such problems that may cause hearing loss may be due to infections, drugs, exposure to noise, and other trauma.

Why should teachers be involved with students with hearing and other disabilities?
Teachers should be aware of disabilities and very supportive because the statistics show several negative effects for students with disabilities compared to non-disabled students such as:
-Two times as many disabled vs. non-disabled children drop out of school
-These dropouts have trouble finding and holding down jobs
- Many disabled teen girls become pregnant
-Alienation is felt by many disabled children from peers, bringing about negative social interactions and academic progress

What can be done?

There are several helpful tools for students who have hearing loss. One helpful tool is actually a human support - a notetaker. As a teacher, you could bring in an outside person, or possibly build a bond and have students in the class change off on taking notes and become invested in the hearing impaired student. While watching film or movies, you can use closed captioning so the students can see the words while they are watching the film even if they can't hear, they can get the message. I would also think it to be helpful to learn sign-language if my student uses it. However, many hearing impaired students are very comfortable with reading lips, so assumptions shouldn't be made - teachers should get to know and find out the best way to communicate.

Submitted by: Hillary Mason

Footnote:
An Educator’s Guide to Hearing Disabilities. University of Illinios – Champagne/Urbana: 2 August, 2002.
http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/wp/access-2002/hearing.htm