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Teaching Hearing Impaired Students

  • 04-02-2015 7:03pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ AirmidOg


    Hi all,

    I am a secondary school teacher in a small public girls school in Dublin. For the first time we have a hearing impaired student. She is in 1st year. I'm looking for anyone who has experience in teaching a hearing impaired student in the mainstream classroom. Teachers are trying but finding it difficult to adjust their methodologies to ensure that the student is included in every lesson. She does not use sign language, she does not lip read and she is refusing to allow teachers to wear specialist microphones as she doesn't want to draw any more attention onto herself. I know in particular her music and language teachers are struggling to cater for her.

    Similarly, her classmates are beginning to exclude her, particularity from group work where she feels her ideas and contributions are being ignored. She is a bright, mannerly and intelligent student but we really want to make sure our classrooms are inclusive and meeting all of our student's needs.

    I was thinking of giving a lesson to her class where we maybe show them what it's like to have a hearing or seeing difficulty. So for example a group work lesson where students take turns in tasks to wear blindfolds or earplugs then discuss how they felt.

    Any help or direction on this would be hugely appreciated!


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    There should be a visiting teacher service for hearing impaired. Its more of a one day consultation service with a teacher/form tutor in the school though! This is usually when they have had prior links with the student before they came into the school. Our one was very good, she came in and gave a demonstration to the student's year group and teachers at a staff meeting. Also she went through the types of hearing loss and suitable strategies.

    Depending on when the hearing loss begun might have a significant impact on language development and comprehension so it might be more than just physically transferring the information. You would really need to sit down with the parents/learning support team/visiting teacher as the needs are different for each student. The language subjects can be tricky but they can get exemptions or modified tests for the JC/LC... if they want them! There should be no problem with being allocated resource hours once the medical report is to hand.

    It kind of boils down to the wishes of the parent though... some want all supports going and want everyone to know about it... and then some won't tell the school anything and dont want any attention brought on the child! (and you kind of have to go with their wishes...


  • Registered Users Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ AirmidOg


    Thanks Armeoldie!

    Yes our Learning Support teachers work closely with her and her parents. However support offered to the school has been horrendous and disgraceful. Our learning support team have been visited once by the support service. The student's hearing aids have been broken since she moved to the school. Our principal is constantly on the phone trying to get the support service to come out and resolve the situation to absolutely no avail. Teacher's have had zero training and we are all failing this student. I feel awful for her so I'm trying to do my own research and come up with some strategies and methodologies to pass on to teachers. She does have access to an SNA but it's the inclusion among her peers which is causing her distress at the moment.

    What organisation did your school get someone to come in from?

    Are there any methodologies or advice that you think works well in your classroom for your deaf student?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,502 CMod ✭✭✭✭ spurious


    You could always contact the School for Hearing Impaired Girls in Cabra.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    AirmidOg wrote: »
    Thanks Armeoldie!

    Yes our Learning Support teachers work closely with her and her parents. However support offered to the school has been horrendous and disgraceful. Our learning support team have been visited once by the support service. The student's hearing aids have been broken since she moved to the school. Our principal is constantly on the phone trying to get the support service to come out and resolve the situation to absolutely no avail. Teacher's have had zero training and we are all failing this student. I feel awful for her so I'm trying to do my own research and come up with some strategies and methodologies to pass on to teachers. She does have access to an SNA but it's the inclusion among her peers which is causing her distress at the moment.

    What organisation did your school get someone to come in from?

    Are there any methodologies or advice that you think works well in your classroom for your deaf student?

    The service is called the Visiting Teacher Service .... Click here for the link

    Also here is a .pdf link to designated visiting teachers assigned to your area.. HERE. Try someone from a neighbouring area if you don't get a response as they move between areas regularly. (Or try the school in Cabra that spurious suggested too). I have a feeling with cutbacks they've spread teachers over a wider area.


    At a very basic level the equipment should be fixed ASAP. From my experience the visiting teacher had the hotline number to the company who services/sells the aids so as soon as she came to the school she checked all the aids (like a car service!) and talked to the girls. On one she found an issue with it not transmitting correctly so she rang the guy and he went through a procedure to fix it. She mentioned that if it didn't work she could get a replacement straight away!!.

    As regards not allowing teachers to wear the microphones then she'll just have to grasp the nettle and do it. The longer she avoids it, the harder it's going to be. I know where you're coming from though, especially with teenagers... it was even hard to get teachers to remind the students to hand them up at the start of class. I think because we had a group (5 students in that school term!) then they didn't feel to bad when others were 'getting on with it'.

    As regards strategies, then it's basically printing off handouts with key terms and explanations. MAybe consider which side of the room (depending on the good ear/bad ear). She mightn't be a fluent lip reader but she'll still miss a lot of the teachers back is turned (a lot of teachers talk while writing on the board). Use of questioning technique so a teacher would repeat a question a student at the back of the class asked or pick a key point and write it on the board. I think I still have the sheet she gave us so I'll have a look for it tomorrow.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,351 ✭✭✭ katydid


    AirmidOg wrote: »
    Hi all,

    I am a secondary school teacher in a small public girls school in Dublin. For the first time we have a hearing impaired student. She is in 1st year. I'm looking for anyone who has experience in teaching a hearing impaired student in the mainstream classroom. Teachers are trying but finding it difficult to adjust their methodologies to ensure that the student is included in every lesson. She does not use sign language, she does not lip read and she is refusing to allow teachers to wear specialist microphones as she doesn't want to draw any more attention onto herself. I know in particular her music and language teachers are struggling to cater for her.

    Similarly, her classmates are beginning to exclude her, particularity from group work where she feels her ideas and contributions are being ignored. She is a bright, mannerly and intelligent student but we really want to make sure our classrooms are inclusive and meeting all of our student's needs.

    I was thinking of giving a lesson to her class where we maybe show them what it's like to have a hearing or seeing difficulty. So for example a group work lesson where students take turns in tasks to wear blindfolds or earplugs then discuss how they felt.

    Any help or direction on this would be hugely appreciated!
    I teach a totally deaf student, and she has an interpreter. I'm surprised there is no external help available. In the case of my student, who is post Leaving Cert, she is very much excluded from the rest of the class, because she sticks with her interpreter all the time

    Would it be possible to speak to her and her parents and get her to agree to the microphones. If she's being excluded anyway because of being unable to communicate, she might understand that things would improve for her.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    katydid wrote: »
    I teach a totally deaf student, and she has an interpreter. I'm surprised there is no external help available. In the case of my student, who is post Leaving Cert, she is very much excluded from the rest of the class, because she sticks with her interpreter all the time

    Would it be possible to speak to her and her parents and get her to agree to the microphones. If she's being excluded anyway because of being unable to communicate, she might understand that things would improve for her.

    Ya the microphones/transmitters are the first step though.
    Although in terms of teaching/learning it's ok but when a student is with a noisy bunch of peers and a lot of background noise then they might just chose to switch off the unit... which inevitably means they mightnt wear it at all ...so are less likely to wear it in class.

    It must be tough on a student with an interpreter to have peer interactions (with students who don't sign!). I have to close my ears sometimes when I hear students in the corridors. I wonder how an interpreter would keep up with all the nuances/slang of teenage language.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6,351 ✭✭✭ katydid


    Armelodie wrote: »
    It must be tough on a student with an interpreter to have peer interactions (with students who don't sign!). I have to close my ears sometimes when I hear students in the corridors. I wonder how an interpreter would keep up with all the nuances/slang of teenage language.

    To be honest, they can't keep up with them.

    What I wonder is how she will cope in the real world when she finishes the course.. She has had a cochlear implant, but she only had it implanted recently; it'll take a long time for her to adapt. She will be working in a very practical area.

    Last year I had a deaf student who was studying construction studies. He's now studying architecture at third level. It's so great to see them going on to further study.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,527 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco


    AirmidOg wrote: »
    I was thinking of giving a lesson to her class where we maybe show them what it's like to have a hearing or seeing difficulty. So for example a group work lesson where students take turns in tasks to wear blindfolds or earplugs then discuss how they felt.
    Oh hell no. Sorry, but I can't see that going well. Something like that would have made me feel a lot more self-conscious of my hearing-aid.
    AirmidOg wrote: »
    The student's hearing aids have been broken since she moved to the school.
    Bullying, or accidental? Also, did she receive them from the NRA (NRB or NRH now, I think?), and if so, are they repairing them, or what?

    =-=

    How echoy are the rooms? Personally, I hear the voice, just not the words if the echo is too bad.

    The visiting teacher dude be awesome; they can often talk to the schools on the hearing impaired students behalf, or know what the student may need as the student may not know what's available to them. Would've been once a month in primary, but once in a blue moon in secondary.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    the_syco wrote: »
    Oh hell no. Sorry, but I can't see that going well. Something like that would have made me feel a lot more self-conscious of my hearing-aid.


    Bullying, or accidental? Also, did she receive them from the NRA (NRB or NRH now, I think?), and if so, are they repairing them, or what?

    =-=

    How echoy are the rooms? Personally, I hear the voice, just not the words if the echo is too bad.

    The visiting teacher dude be awesome; they can often talk to the schools on the hearing impaired students behalf, or know what the student may need as the student may not know what's available to them. Would've been once a month in primary, but once in a blue moon in secondary.

    Ya id echo that, the visiting teacher gives very targeted and practical info. The demo to students can work but takes careful planning and has to have the parent's/tudent's total approval, but best left to a visiting teacher.

    Cochlear implants can take a good few months to adjust to... even then if a student had severe hearing loss before then its like hearing a strange language (and its even more confusing if what they thought they knew wasnt what they are now hearing).


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,527 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco


    Armelodie wrote: »
    Cochlear implants can take a good few months to adjust to... even then if a student had severe hearing loss before then its like hearing a strange language (and its even more confusing if what they thought they knew wasnt what they are now hearing).
    This. Unless she has been told, she may be just using the good ear to understand voice, as opposed to blocking the good ear off, and trying to relearn speech with the implant, as the sound will be bypassing parts of the ear, and thus different.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    Aye, 2 things really OP.

    Visiting teacher asap.
    Fix Aid asap.

    If they fail to engage then they are failing in providing for an education on the grounds of a disability. I know theres cut backs but I bet if there was political or legal intervention then these things would get seen to straight away.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,034 dalta5billion


    Regarding microphones, if it is possible, a wireless pack with a lapel mic can be discrete when threaded up through a shirt.

    Alternatively, start an initiative to podcast lessons for *all* students (audio with or without PowerPoint). Get the ETBI or ICTE onboard to set up a moodle etc.. Become an example - contact companies providing such podcasting solutions and allow them to make you into a promotional or trial school - they'll probably do it for free. I know that sounds like a huge project but really it's not.

    Socially, as with all schools, forcing the kids to talk to each other in small, random groups always helps. "Talk to the person on your right" is more helpful than you'd think for breaking down prejudices. I know of kids who are extremely paranoid that SNA's make them into social pariahs, and that is always true to a certain extent. But the awkwardness of an SNA will eventually go away among her peers (although it'll take years - kids are awkward).

    Props to you for going the extra mile, I'm sure she'll appreciate it in years to come.


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