Teaching Mainstreamed Students with Hearing Loss, Zina Jawadi
Teaching Mainstreamed Students with Hearing Loss, Zina Jawadi


Hi, my name is Zina Jawadi. I am a high-school
junior at The Harker School in San Jose, California. I have hearing loss, and I have been a mainstreamed
student my entire life; in other words, I have been attending regular schools with hearing
students. Almost always, I have been the only student with hearing loss in the classroom.
In this video, I would like to share with you the best practices for mainstreaming students
with hearing loss. In preparing and scripting this video, I interviewed three of the nation’s
best experts on the subject: Dr. Diane Brackett of the New England Center for Hearing Rehabilitation,
Ms. Mary Jane Johnson of the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, and Ms. Nancy Sager
of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program in the California Department of Education. I
have also researched many excellent resources on mainstreaming students with hearing loss.
In addition, throughout the years, my teachers, my counselors, my school, and I have learned
many classroom and teaching techniques and tips to create a classroom environment that
is inclusive of students with hearing loss. From the interviews, research, and my own
experience, I have compiled the best practices and asked my teachers and counselors to discuss
and demonstrate these practices; they have so graciously accepted for which I am incredibly
so grateful. These concepts are usable in all educational settings, from elementary
school through college. And the good news is that most of these suggestions benefit
all students, not just students with hearing loss. But why do teachers need to use these practices?
To answer that, we need to understand a little bit about hearing loss. There are four degrees
of hearing loss: mild, moderate, severe, and profound. People with mild, moderate, and
severe hearing loss are often called hard of hearing; hard of hearing people typically
wear hearing aids. For example, I am hard of hearing; I have moderate to severe hearing
loss, and I wear hearing aids. People with profound hearing loss are called deaf. While
hard of hearing people have some residual hearing, deaf people can hear very little,
if at all. Some deaf people have cochlear implants that simulate ears and stimulate
hearing. Most people think that hearing aids and cochlear implants cure hearing loss like
eyeglasses do for eyes. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. There is no such thing
as 20/20 hearing when a person has hearing loss, not even close. In fact, sometimes,
hearing aids make it worse. For example, often times, hearing aids amplify background noise,
making it impossible to hear speech. That is why, most of the time, a student with hearing
loss in the classroom is constantly trying to figure out what is being said. As a result,
it’s crucial to provide assistance to students with hearing loss. According to a study conducted
by SRI in 2006, more than 70,000 students nationwide receive special education services,
primarily because of hearing impairment, and more than 90% of students with mild or moderate
hearing loss attend regular schools. The assistance can transform the learning experience of students
with hearing loss so that they not only survive but thrive. Here are the topics of the video. Please keep in mind that most students with
hearing loss supplement their hearing by speech reading, which is colloquially called lip
reading. Students with hearing loss rely heavily on speech reading. Also, some hearing aids
are directional; they amplify sounds from the front of the student’s face more than
sounds from the sides and back. Considering this knowledge, my English Teacher, Dr. Redfern,
will now demonstrate how to face a student with hearing loss. As a teacher, when you are speaking in front
of the classroom, you need to make sure that your face is always visible to the student
with hearing loss. If you cover your mouth, for example with
a piece of paper, a cup of coffee, or your hand, the student with hearing loss may not
be able to hear you. If you are writing on the board and speaking
at the same time, the student with hearing loss might not be able to hear you. If you walk while you teach, make sure that
the student with hearing loss can see your face in order to speech read. That means to
face the students, not the wall. Alternatively, you can move and then continue speaking. If you stand in the back of the room, the
student with hearing loss may not be able to hear you. It is preferable to stand in
front of the room while you’re speaking. Likewise, standing in front of a window or
another strong source of light may make it difficult for the student with hearing loss
to speech read; avoid standing in front of a window while speaking. To summarize, please remember to face the
student with hearing loss while you are speaking. In addition to keeping the face visible, articulating
is also important so that students with hearing loss can understand you. My economics teacher,
Mr. Lepler, will discuss how to speak to students with hearing loss. When you are talking with a person with hearing
loss, whether during class or in person, please speak slowly, articulately, and not quietly,
especially when you are covering important information. For example, when I cover an
important concept, I slow down, articulate the topic carefully, and say, This is absolutely
crucial. At the same time, do not exaggerate your articulation either. Some people think that speaking excessively
loudly helps the student with hearing loss to understand better. However, on the contrary,
yelling will probably make your voice hard to understand. It is not a good idea to alter
your voice when speaking with a student with hearing loss, just articulate. It is a good idea to observe a student with
hearing loss; if that student looks lost, he or she probably is. Remember that a student
with hearing loss rarely asks a teacher to repeat, because they don’t want to delay the
class or look stupid. If you sense that a student is lost, slow down, articulate better,
repeat, rephrase, and paraphrase. If you habitually speak quietly, or softly,
or quickly, or inarticulately, and you find it difficult to change your speaking habits,
you might want to consider recommending another teacher at the school. To summarize, please speak articulately, slow
down when needed, and do not shout. As I mentioned earlier, hearing aids do not
provide 20/20 hearing like eyeglasses do for eyes, so, although speaking articulately will
certainly help, a student with hearing loss will still probably mishear a good portion
of what is being said during class. Therefore, explaining concepts clearly is essential.
From my personal experience, incorporating some public speaking techniques on how to
preview, review, organize, transition, and repeat will help the student understand the
material. Students with hearing loss need structure. So, let’s hear Mr. Peele, my
Speech and Debate Coach, explain how to teach so that a student with hearing loss can understand. In public speaking, we begin with an attention
getter that leads into our thesis. So when we teach a topic, we should first try to find
a way to grab the attention of the class, and this is especially important for the student
with hearing loss. We should clearly state the topic and objective. In public speaking, another important aspect
is always previewing our main points before we jump into them. Likewise, when we teach,
we can use the same concept; so that before we get into the material itself, we always
explain what the main points of our talk are going to be. So an example of this might be
something like, if we were to be studying Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, for example,
we might say we are going to begin with Abraham Lincoln’s policies, move to his positions,
and then finally conclude with his legacy. Yet another important aspect of public speaking
is the use of transitions. So that when we make our main points, between them we always
use some sort of transitional phrase. And we should supplement that with physical movement
as well to give a good cue that we are moving on to the next important idea. So, for example,
we might say something like: let’s begin with the first point, while taking a few steps. Another technique for public speaking is repetition
for emphasis. It is a good idea to always repeat your important points. Repetition benefits
all students, not just students with hearing loss. Similarly, in public speaking, we say a review
of the main points after finishing our presentations. So, when we teach, after covering the main
points, we should review what they were. So, at the end of the lesson we might say something
like: today, we went over three ideas: Lincoln’s positions, his policies, and his legacy. So to summarize, state the topic, preview
it, use good transitions, repeat, and review. Ms. Mary Jane Johnson is an expert on mainstreaming
students with hearing loss. I interviewed her at length a few months ago, and she said:
“It’s too much to ask [a student with hearing loss] to process all of [the lecture information]
like hearing [students do]. It can’t be done without the written support.” So, next let’s
discuss writing and providing written notes to help the student with hearing loss not
miss anything. My biology teacher, Mr. Ajerman, will explain the writing and note taking techniques
he uses to help. As much as possible, I think that teachers
need to write effective, clear notes on the board, especially if they describe new terms.
I really would agree with Dr. Redfern’s statement that as much as possible teachers should in
fact write clear notes on the board and should try their best not to turn their backs to
their students while they are doing their class. So I placed this simple diagram on here earlier,
and I have some labels. I try to write very large, and I try to make sure that as my lessons
progress, I can add some other structures on here and explain my lessons with diagrams
as well as verbal material. I think it’s important to provide handouts
with notes, either posted online, which is what we do here at Harker, or written material
that we can give the students. I like to use review sheets before assessments to make sure
that all of the students, whether they have a hearing loss or not, can certainly preview
the material being discussed in class and during the class. Depending on the degree of hearing loss or
other challenge that a student has, some students may need some additional help, they may need
a note taker, they may need a designated student to review material with them, perhaps to make
sure that they’ve actually heard the lesson being discussed in class. I think as a teacher, I try as much as possible
to make any of these kinds of support available to all students, but I think it is even more
important for students that have any kind of a challenge. I’ve also found from students telling me that
there are teachers that apparently, not me, get irritated and perhaps a little taken back
when students are not taking notes, are taking notes, I’m sorry, during class, and perhaps
not making eye contact with the teacher. And I think all students should kind of be able
to jot down and perhaps even refer to someone next to them if they have to during class
for some clarification. And I also think it’s important for teachers
to give clear assignments with due dates and visual material for all students, in a manner
that can be discussed with the teacher and with other students, so that every student,
but especially a student with a hearing challenge, can be completely aware of what is expected
on an assessment, what is expected on a day-by-day basis. So just to summarize, I feel that it is really
important for a teacher today to provide very adequate, very strongly reinforced written
notes on the board as well as online or in the form of handouts so that students can
follow along very clearly, and that is true for all students in one’s class. Now let’s discuss seating, which is absolutely
crucial. Where the student sits depends on many factors. For example, it depends on the
classroom seating arrangement, whether it is rows, circles, horseshoe, etc. Most importantly,
the student with hearing loss should sit where he or she can hear and see the teacher best,
and for class discussions, the student with hearing loss should sit where he or she can
hear and see the students best. Many of the ideas that we will present now came from an
interview I conducted with Mary Jane Johnson, who is an expert on teaching students with
hearing loss. Please remember that the student with hearing loss will definitely need preferential
seating. This is a medical necessity not a privilege. My English teacher, Dr. Redfern,
will tell us about seating for students with hearing loss. For row seating, the ideal place to seat the
student with hearing loss is in the front. Being in the front allows the student to better
hear and see the teacher. In the front row, the student can sit somewhat
to the right, somewhat to the left, or in the center. Front center may not be the best;
it depends on the student. Sitting to the right or left allows the student to observe
other students in the class. Also, if the student has a better ear, meaning
the student can hear better with one ear than the other, then the student should be seated
with the better ear toward the teacher and the entire class, which may be to the right
or the left. The student should be allowed to rotate in
the seat when necessary in order to see other students when they are talking. For circle seating, the student with hearing
loss should sit either to the right or the left side of the teacher, sideways, at an
angle, so that he or she can have visual and auditory access to the teacher and to the
other students. This way, the student doesn’t have to turn his or her body so much to see
the teacher. According to Mary Jane Johnson, the student with hearing loss should not sit
right next the teacher and definitely not directly across from the teacher; instead,
maybe two or three seats away from the teacher. Regardless of these rules, Ms. Johnson and
other experts say that teachers should listen to the student with hearing loss and let him
or her choose a seat. Only the student can assess from which seat he or she has the best
access. Also, the student should be given the option of trying different seats to see
which one suits him or her best. Again, this is a medical necessity, not a privilege. The student with hearing loss should also
be seated as far away from any noise as possible, especially if the noise cannot be removed.
Students who habitually make noise, like clicking pens or fidgeting, should be seated away from
the student with hearing loss. Another factor to take into account is lighting.
The student should sit where the lighting in the classroom gives him or her good visibility
of the teacher and the other students. Some seating selections are known not to work
for students with hearing loss. Examples with row seating include: sitting in the center
or the back during lectures, sitting in the front center while a large group discussion
is going on, or seating in the front watching a video with the speakers in the back of the
room. To summarize, a student with hearing loss
will require preferential seating to allow him or her to see and learn as much as possible.
Seating accommodation is not a luxury; it is a necessity for the student with hearing
loss. Next we will cover techniques for classroom
and group discussions. Nowadays, classroom discussions are very common. Unfortunately,
classroom discussions and student interactions often end up excluding or severely challenging
students with hearing loss. Most students with hearing loss can handle one-on-one conversations
and maybe discussions with teams of three or four. However, as soon as the number of
discussants increases, the student with hearing loss will get lost and isolated, especially
if the discussion is rapid. My history teacher, Mr. Halback, will now describe some of the
classroom discussion techniques that help students with hearing loss. It is difficult for a student with hearing
loss to hear and understand teachers, but it is much, much more difficult for the student
with hearing loss to hear other students. Unlike most teachers, students are not as
comfortable with the material and often speak tentatively, softly, and inarticulately. Whereas
teachers speak to teach, students speak without thinking about teaching their peers. Therefore,
the teacher should always assume that the student with hearing loss does not hear other
students during classroom discussions and Q&A. To help the student with hearing loss, the
teacher should always repeat students’ questions, answers, and comments. This is especially
important if the students are speaking softly or are sitting in the back or away from the
student with hearing loss. The teacher should also expand, paraphrase,
and summarize students’ comments, not just repeat them. The teacher should encourage students to speak
louder. Remember that the student with hearing loss supplements hearing with lip reading. During classroom discussions, the teacher
should identify the student who will speak next by name. For example, if a student raises
his or her hand to speak, the teacher should say the student’s name and even point at the
student, before the student speaks. This allows the student with hearing loss to know who
is talking and to turn towards the speaker in order to hear and see. During long group discussions, the student
with hearing loss may need to be seated where he or she can better hear and better see other
students. This may mean temporarily moving the student with hearing loss to a different
location or at least allowing him or her to turn his or her chair around, to move the
chair, or even to switch seats in order to better hear and see other students. Another
possibility is to rearrange desks in a U-shape or to create a circle to give maximum visibility. Remember that classroom discussions often
unintentionally exclude the student with hearing loss. The teacher should provide opportunities
for that student with hearing loss to talk and to interact with other students in the
classroom. The student with hearing loss will most likely
be lost and excluded when multiple students are talking especially at the same time, when
students take turns or talk rapidly, and when topics change rapidly. The ideal solution
is for the teacher to slow down the rate of exchanges and the rate of speech. The teacher
should also repeat and paraphrase what was said. To summarize, classroom discussions are very
difficult for a student with hearing loss. Please make sure that the student with hearing
loss is not excluded or lost. Communicating with a student with hearing
loss requires effort and patience. To begin with, the student does not hear well, even
with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Hearing loss is not like shortsightedness, for example.
There is no such thing as 20/20 hearing with any hearing aid or other device. Under the
best circumstances, the student with hearing loss will still miss a good percentage of
what is said. In addition, most students with hearing loss also have speech impairments,
accents, or other issues. The student with hearing loss probably underwent years of speech
therapy just to be able to speak. I certainly did. As a result, communicating with a student
with hearing loss can be frustrating. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that a
student with hearing loss is often misunderstood as rude or even dumb, just because they can’t
hear and can’t speak as well as students with normal hearing. Now, my history teacher, Mr.
Halback, will share some tips for communicating with a student with hearing loss. First of all, try to avoid conversations with
the student with hearing loss in noisy places, such as hallways, lunch rooms, cafeterias,
gymnasiums, activity rooms, playgrounds. Second, before you start speaking with the
student with hearing loss, in the classroom or individually, you need to get the student’s
attention first. For example, call the student by name, and make sure that the student recognized
that you called him or her. Try to get the student’s visual and auditory attention before
speaking to the student. Make sure the student is looking at you and knows that you are speaking
to him or her. With a young student, you may need to tap the student on the shoulder to
get his or her attention. When a student with hearing loss comes to
talk to me, I turn my entire body, not just my head, to face him or her. Turning my entire
body shows that I am available and focused, and it also allows me to focus better. During the conversation, face the student
and maintain eye contact. With young students, the teacher will need to get down at the student’s
level while talking to the student. Students with hearing loss rely more heavily
on visual cues to decipher what is being said. The teacher and the student with hearing loss
can agree on certain nonverbal signals to communicate without disturbing the class or
perhaps calling attention to the student. For example, the student can put a certain
notebook out, or perhaps a color coded card, or object to indicate that the student did
not hear, did not understand, or perhaps is lost. In addition, the teacher should use
visual teaching techniques and visual aids whenever possible. It is not a good idea for the teacher to suddenly
call on the student with hearing loss to answer a question or to comment on another student’s
answer, unless the student with hearing loss is raising his or her hand. The student with
hearing loss may be lost, and putting him or her on the spot will cause embarrassment
and awkwardness. Additionally, don’t keep saying to the student, “can you hear me?”
“do you understand?” especially in front of the class or other students. It embarrasses
the student. The student with hearing loss should be given
opportunities to speak and participate in class. The student should be given some leadership
opportunities in the classroom, for example, by assigning the student to be a team leader
in classroom exercises. Don’t expect or demand the student with hearing
loss to speak as well as students with normal hearing. Please be patient, respectful, understanding,
and encouraging; the student is probably doing his best or her best to speak the way he or
she is. To summarize, when communicating with a student
with hearing loss, whether in the classroom or otherwise, please ensure that he or she
is hearing you before and during the conversation. Now we will turn to testing considerations.
Certain testing circumstances put the student with hearing loss at a significant disadvantage
purely for his or her hearing loss. So, when it comes to tests, students with hearing loss
also require certain accommodations. For example, if the hearing loss is severe enough, the
student with hearing loss may be able to receive extended test time, if they can show medical
proof of the severity of the hearing loss. According to the SRI study I mentioned in
the beginning, about 60% of students with hearing loss receive extended test time. Some
students with normal hearing may feel that giving accommodations to students with hearing
loss is unfair. However, the student with hearing loss is constantly trying to figure
out what is being said in class in addition to trying to comprehend it while students
with normal hearing use the time to readily comprehend the material. So, again, accommodations
are needed due to medical necessity, not privilege. My economics teacher, Mr. Lepler, will now
tell us about testing accommodations. Most importantly, test reminders and test
instructions must be provided in writing, ideally on the board and on paper. Test instructions and test questions must
be clear. Using tricky language can put the student with hearing loss at a disadvantage. Noise is detrimental to students with hearing
loss, especially during tests. The classroom must be kept quiet. You may have to give the
student the option of taking the test elsewhere. The student with hearing loss should not be
quizzed on anything that was covered verbally only without complete written notes. The student with hearing loss should also
not be quizzed on new material immediately after it was covered. Remember that the student
with hearing loss probably did not hear everything that was said in class, and it would be grossly
unfair to test him or her on the new material. Instead, give the student the opportunity
to study at home and be told when the test is well ahead of time. Because of their inability
to hear, students with hearing loss generally take more time to study, because they don’t
learn as much in class as students with normal hearing do. The student with hearing loss should not be
quizzed on material that was covered only in videos, audio recordings, class discussions,
or student oral presentations without both written notes and the chance to study and
digest the material at home. Additionally, the student with hearing loss
may be confused if test instructions are changed the last minute, for example adding a new
section to the test only the day before the test. The student with hearing loss should not be
tested orally. If they have to be tested orally, for example with vocabulary, they should be
given oral practice examples and oral practice time before being tested. To summarize, test instructions and questions
should be clear and written, and tests should assess material for which written notes were
provided before the test. And that is absolutely crucial. One of the annoying issues with hearing aids
is that they magnify almost everything indiscriminately including noise; if the noise is loud enough,
the student will hear nothing but the noise. In addition, with normal hearing, the brain
and the ear work together to filter out noise; unfortunately, the brain and the hearing aids
don’t work together at all. There are two types of noise: static noise, like the humming
of air conditioners, and gated noise, like the clicking of pens. Another form of noise
is called reverberation, which is similar to echo; reverberation is when a sound continues
after the source has ceased vibrating because of reflections on surfaces in the room. Reverberation
can be even more detrimental to speech perception than noise. In one experiment conducted by
Finitzo-Hieber and Tillman, under excellent listening conditions, students with hearing
loss were able to hear about 85% of what was said. However, with noise and reverberation,
the students with hearing loss were able to hear only about 10%; that is one in ten words.
As Ms. Mary Jane Johnson says, when the listening environment is auditorily challenging, it
becomes cognitively challenging; in other words, the student with hearing loss is using
all her energy to focus on hearing and listening instead of comprehending and thinking. My
biology teacher, Mr. Ajerman, will explain noise sources and what needs to be done about them. We live in a world with humming and clicking
and banging noises and traffic noises. Those of us of course with normal hearing can learn
to cut that ambient noise out. Hearing aids and devices like that tend to amplify all
sounds and are not able to separate out the indiscriminant ambient noise from the sound
of the teacher’s voice or even the sound of a child next to the student with a hearing
loss. In thinking about noise, we have to understand
that noises should be identified, their source should be found; they could be reduced, they
could be minimized, and certainly eliminated. For example, if the noise is coming from outside,
we can close windows, and we can install rubber silencers on the bottoms of chairs and desks. There are students who might be moving around
in the room, getting things out of their backpacks, who might be fidgeting. These are things that
people with normal hearing can click out, but a student with hearing loss might be so
distracted by even the movement of notebooks or movement of a backpack near them. Fidgety students and students who type loudly
on their keyboards should certainly be moved away from students with hearing loss. There are some materials like concrete, tile,
and wood chairs that inherently bounce sounds around. So there are things that we can do
in classrooms for all students that would actually minimize some of this other extraneous
noise. In some schools rubber gliders and rubber balls are put on the bottom of chairs.
Sometimes there are corkboard materials that are used. There are curtains that can be used. And all of this goes back to physics, which,
as a science teacher, is of particular interest to me, the fact that the intensity of the
sound decreases, the intensity decreases the farther away we are from the source of the
sound. So, another solution is to move the noise away from the student with hearing loss
or to seat the student away from noise sources. So for example, in this room, where the hallway
is out there, and there is a preparation room, which is silent. It would be so important
to make sure that a child with hearing loss is placed away from the noisy hallway. Even
if there is no one in the hallway, the fact that external sounds can come in and affect
all the children, especially one with a hearing loss. As I mentioned, the intensity of the sound
decreases the farther away we are from the source of the sound. We can take advantage
of this fact when we speak to our classes by moving closer to our students. Recently,
Zina told me that when she interviewed Dr. Diane Brackett, Dr. Brackett told her that
teachers could act as “amplifiers,” simply by moving closer to the student with hearing
loss. Such a simple, clever statement. For example, when explain a complicated topic
or when we give very important instructions, specifically in a science classroom for me,
we can move closer to the student with hearing loss so we are precisely certain that that
student got every detail. I try to repeat things in different ways during
my class periods. It is so important for students with hearing or visual challenge or challenges
to get those messages in different ways. I never know how they are going to interpret
my voice, my tone, or my inflection. As I told Zina, I am particularly interested
in a science called psychoacoustics. It is the effect of sound on behavior. Most teachers
don’t pay attention to the fact that every student in their class interprets the tone
of what they’re discussing differently. Part of this is genetic, part of this is based
on their individual life experiences, but it is such a simple thing for a teacher to
be cognizant of. So to summarize, noise is so detrimental to
a student with hearing loss, and it is incumbent on us to try to do everything we can to remove
or reduce all of that noise. Students with hearing loss are at a disadvantage
with audio and video recordings in the classroom and even at home. I personally struggle a
lot when I watch videos without captions, even when the volume is loud. My math teacher,
Mr. Stoll, will share with us some ways to help. Most importantly, if you show a video in class,
make sure to turn on the closed captioning. If the video does not show the captions, it
is better just not to show it at all. By the way, even with captioning turned on, the student
will be busy reading the words and they may lose some of the speech that you want them
to hear. So, the videos are challenging for students that have hearing loss, even with
captioning turned on, and that is the most important thing you have to understand. If you really do have to show a video that
does not have closed captioning, then what you should do is provide the transcript ahead
of time, so that the student can read it as the video is being played. But then again,
understand that if they have hearing loss, they’re going to be reading as the video is
being played, and that takes away from the experience of the actual video. Closed captioning should be turned on, and
the transcript should be ready before the video is played, ideally even before the class
starts. This way, the student with the hearing loss does not lose anything, class time is
not wasted, and attention is not specifically brought to the student who has a hearing loss
issue. If you assign videos to watch at home or homework
that requires or involves watching videos at home, realize that the student with hearing
loss will spend much more time watching and repeating the video than students with normal
hearing. I personally discovered this with Zina early on, and she let me know, so I was
very appreciative of that. I personally create videos and ask students to watch them at home.
However, I do two things, and I learned both of these from Zina: number one, I write a
lot in the videos than I did at the start; these videos are meant just as preview to
the class; they don’t substitute the lectures. What I discovered was that although the video
was only seven minutes long, she as spending may be an hour watching the video, and that
has definitely taught me a lot, and so my expectations have changed a bit, and I am
a little more understanding of students, and I think teachers have to be with students
with hearing loss. Audio clips really put the student with hearing
loss at a disadvantage. If you plan on playing just an audio recording in class, please make
sure to provide a transcript for the student so that the student with the hearing loss
can read along. Sometimes teachers use PowerPoint slides with animation that involves audio
that is not captioned. In this case, the teacher should tell the students ahead of time what
the audio will say and then afterwards tell the students again what the audio said or
at least summarize it for them. Videos with music in the background can make
the speech, the speech part where you really want them to understand incomprehensible.
So again I learned this from Zina when she started working on this, as I like to have
music playing in the background, but after hearing the issues that she was having with
it, I thought OK, I thought about it, and I turned that off. Even if you are using closed captioning, if
you show a video or play an audio recording, make sure that the student is seated close
to the loudspeakers. I also make sure, and Zina has come to me about this, I make sure
she is seated center front of the classroom so that she has a good view of everything. To summarize, if you use video and audio recordings,
make sure that captioning is enabled but still understand that even with that students with
hearing loss are still at a disadvantage. One technology used often by students with
hearing aids is called the FM system. The FM system consists of a small transmitter
device like this that the teacher can wear. The FM system usually comes with a microphone
that the teacher also wears. The FM system transmitter picks up the teacher’s
voice through the microphone and transmits it wirelessly directly into the hearing aids. This
way, the teacher’s voice goes to the hearing aids clearly and directly, bypassing noise. The
device I just showed is an older unit. Here is another device called Unite Mini Microphone
from the hearing aid manufacturer ReSound. In this state-of-the-art device, the transmitter
and the microphone are integrated into one unit. The student can give this Mini Microphone
to a teacher or a friend to wear on the lapel and the speaker’s voice is streamed directly
into the hearing aids wirelessly. This works very well in noisy environments where most
hearing aid users have difficulty hearing. And, as you can see, it’s very small and light
weight. It also has many nifty features, for example it can be used as a streamer for sound
from iPhones, iPads, notebooks, and TVs directly into hearing aids. FM systems are extremely
helpful, especially for younger students. I personally used one for most of my elementary
school years. Dr. Brackett has conducted testing on FM systems and found that with hearing
aids and noise, the perception of the average student with hearing loss drops down to about
70 percent, but with the FM system, it can go up to about 95 percent. My medical club
mentor and biology teacher, Dr. Harley, will tell us about using FM systems in the classroom. Some teachers are apprehensive and reluctant
to wear the FM system, but the student with hearing loss benefits significantly from it.
So, the teacher should wear it and turn it on when speaking. The FM system should only be turned on when
the teacher is speaking to the class. Otherwise, it should be turned off. If you want to speak
to the student with hearing loss individually, get closer to the student and speak with the
FM system turned off. A common mistake is to forget to turn off
the FM system when you are having private conversations with other students; the student
with hearing loss will be able to hear these private conversations. Please make sure to wear the microphone properly.
If you pin the microphone on your shirt or sweater backwards, what the student will hear
is the ruffling of your clothes, not your voice. You can also apply the FM system when showing
a video on TV or on a computer. You can put the FM microphone next to the
speakers so that the sound goes directly to the student’s hearing aids. Newer models can plug directly into the
speaker system. Another great application for the FM system
is during class discussions. One of the most common complaints from students with hearing
loss is that they can’t hear other students during class discussions. The FM system can
come in handy there too. The teacher can pass around the FM system and microphone to the
students, as they speak. Passing around the microphone has a side benefit of slowing down
the pace of conversation, which is also good for the student with hearing loss. For middle
school and high school, the class discussion pace can be too rapid, and passing around
the FM system may be inconvenient or impractical. In that case, the teacher can walk toward
the student who is talking. This has two benefits: first, the microphone can pick up the speech
better so the student with hearing loss can hear; and second, it will help the student
with hearing loss see who is talking so he or she can speech read better. Some FM systems can have additional microphones
that can be passed around. So, the teacher wears one microphone, and another, separate
microphone is passed around to the students who are talking. Another way is for the teacher to repeat students’
questions, answers, and comments so that the FM system can transmit them from the teacher’s
microphone directly to the hearing aids. Otherwise, the student will miss what other
students are saying. To summarize, the FM system can substantially
help a student with hearing loss, so please wear it, turn it on, and pass it around to
students as necessary. In my years of being a hard-of-hearing student
mainstreamed in a regular school, I have found that the most effective skill is self-advocacy.
The research I conducted and the experts I spoke with all confirmed the importance of
self-advocacy. My math teacher, Mr. Stoll, will describe self-advocacy techniques. I
personally used most of them, and they were very helpful. Before the end of a school year, it may be
a good idea for the student with hearing loss to observe classes of her possible future
teachers. It is almost like an interview process. In the course, if the course is taught by
more than one teacher, the student can observe the different teachers also. The student can
meet with the potential new teachers and tell them about her hearing loss and his or her
special needs. This observation can help the student decide classes and teachers for the
following year. Obviously, the student must obtain permission of the school and the
teachers beforehand. The next idea is that in the beginning of
each school year, the student with hearing loss to meet with each of his or her new teachers
individually and tell them about his or her hearing loss and special needs. This way,
the year starts off on the right foot from day one. The student should be allowed and encouraged
to ask teachers for whatever accommodations he or she needs. Most teachers are very happy
to help out. However, if the teacher is uninformed, they won’t know to do. So it is the student’s
job, which Zina has taken on very well, to inform her teachers of the hearing loss issue. If a teacher is unwilling or unable to accommodate
the student, which I would hope wouldn’t happen too often, then the student should ask the
school counselor to intervene. The student should seek every opportunity to teach
his or her teachers and classmates about hearing loss. For example, the student can choose
essays and presentation topics that relate to hearing loss. The student may even want
to explain hearing loss to the entire class. Zina actually approached me about doing this,
and so she just spoke to the class. That’s how she ended up where she was sitting in
classroom. The students were very accommodating. Almost everyone here is very understanding
of her hearing loss issue and what we need to do to help her out. The student with hearing loss may be amazed
at how many of his or her classmates are in fact willing to help out if asked. For example,
I know one student who has beautiful handwriting and excellent notes, and she was happy to
give her class notes to Zina. The student with hearing loss may often need to
ask for clarifications. It may be awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning, but the
student should be encouraged to ask others to repeat what they said. Another option is extra help. Whatever the
student misses in class, he or she can go to the teacher for extra help outside of the
class. The student can also use the extra-help to build rapport with the teachers. To summarize, perhaps one of the most important
things for students with hearing loss to do is to be self-advocates. The student has to
tell teachers, their school; they can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, because if
Zina had done that, she would not be where she is, she would not have reached her full
potential, she probably would not be sitting in BC calculus class this year. So you must
be a self advocate. From my personal experience, I know how important
a positive student-teacher relationship is. I have been very lucky to have many supportive
teachers. Most students, especially those with hearing loss, do not seek help from teachers
with whom they don’t feel comfortable. In my interview with Ms. Nancy Sager, she said:
“it’s easy for teachers to ignore students with disabilities.” My advisor and chemistry
teacher, Mr. Korin, will tell us about building student-teacher relationships. A poor relationship between a teacher and
any student will have negative ramifications on the student’s ability to learn. Most students
with hearing loss tend to depend more on teachers than students with normal hearing. As a result,
a poor student-teacher relationship can be even more detrimental to the student with
hearing loss. A good relationship begins with the teacher.
To build rapport and positive relationship from the start, the teacher should set a
positive tone early in the year. Being respectful is the first step. Second, the student must feel a sense of trust,
which comes from being accepted as is. Third, the student must feel that the teacher
cares about him or her. Fourth, the student must feel that the teacher
has faith in him or her. And fifth, the student must feel included
by the teacher; for example, the teacher should talk to the student, ask him or her questions,
check that he or she understands the material, etc. The teacher should give the student with
hearing loss opportunities to speak and interact with other students. Lastly, the teacher should
expect and encourage the student with hearing loss to use extra-help sessions extensively
and proactively before falling behind. To summarize, a positive student-teacher relationship
is the cornerstone of a successful learning outcome for the student. Social aspects of students with hearing loss
are crucial and, sadly, often overlooked. Authors Ross, Brackett, and Maxon say that
hard of hearing students are a misunderstood minority and that their behaviors are frequently
misinterpreted and even condemned. Interestingly, hard-of-hearing students tend to have more
social issues than deaf students. Social issues at school can affect learning outcomes negatively
and should be addressed. The dean of students and my mentor, Mr. Williamson, will now describe
social setting considerations. Students with hearing loss often have difficulty
in noisy places, such as hallways, cafeterias, gymnasiums, auditoriums, and playgrounds.
Certain settings are also awkward, for instance, assemblies, school meetings, and public announcements.
Phone calls are tricky as well. In these situations, a student with hearing
loss can feel like an outsider, even though he is surrounded by many of his classmates
and schoolmates. On top of it, quite often, he is the only student with hearing loss
in the classroom or in the entire school. It is possible that he may not know even
anyone else who has hearing loss. In addition, a student with hearing loss can
easily be misunderstood. For example, sometimes we may pass by the student, and we say good
morning, hello, or a comment while passing him in the hallway or during recess, but he
completely ignores us and does not respond. Before we assume that he is rude, upset with
us, or doesn’t like us, we need to remember that most likely he did not hear us at all. As educators, our goal is for the student
with hearing loss not only to have academic success, but also to be accepted socially
as well as to accept himself, to have good self image, and to be motivated. My colleagues
have already discussed academic considerations, so I will address social and self-image aspects. One idea is to give the student with hearing
loss opportunities for social success, such as leadership roles and team work. The student
should be encouraged to speak in public, in front of the class or the entire school. Along with these opportunities, the student
should be offered mentoring and coaching so that she can succeed. Furthermore, the student should be given positive
reinforcement and feedback to build confidence and self image. Another way to instill pride and develop a
sense of identity in the student is to encourage, but not force, her to explain her hearing
loss, hearing aids, or cochlear implants in front of the class or even the entire school.
We should show interest and encourage students with normal hearing to learn about hearing
issues. The student with hearing loss will feel proud, rather than ashamed or embarrassed.
And at the same time, we need to be careful, because some students with hearing loss may
be shy or reluctant to discuss their hearing loss or special needs publicly or even privately. If the school has more than one student with
hearing loss, the school can facilitate getting them together. For example, they could be
teamed in pairs from different grades. So, to summarize, social considerations should
be taken into account to build the student’s identity and pride through mentoring and
leadership opportunities. Hearing loss is hard. Students with hearing
loss often feel confused, lost, embarrassed, awkward, ashamed, vulnerable, frustrated,
discouraged, exhausted, drained, tired, excluded, isolated, and lonely. It’s true. However,
an effective counselor can make a huge difference. I have been truly blessed with the best counselor
anyone can ever have. My mentor and counselor, Ms. Kohan, will now share with us what counselors
can do to help the student with hearing loss. Being a student with hearing loss is hard
work. Imagine concentrating and speech reading all day long just to understand what is being
said. It is draining. By early afternoon, the student with hearing loss will have had
it, and fatigue sets in. In addition, especially in highly achieving academic schools, the
student with hearing loss compares himself or herself with his or her classmates and
feels a lot of self pressure to excel. Regardless of how smart and hardworking the
student with hearing loss is, he or she still may need some accommodations. Yet, the student
with hearing loss may find it awkward to ask teachers for these accommodations. It is much
harder when teachers don’t offer or abide by these accommodations. The student with
hearing loss can get frustrated. From my experience, students with hearing loss can thrive in mainstream
classrooms, but it is vital that each student receives the personalized support he or she
needs to succeed. As educators, we have the responsibility to support students with
hearing loss, and a counselor can play an important role. The first step is listening to the student.
The student will probably have both academic and social issues. But no one knows the issues
that the student with hearing loss is facing better than the student himself or herself. The second step is empathy. Sometimes, the
student is unable to hear a certain teacher. The teacher may be an excellent teacher, yet
the student still cannot hear, simply because of the natural pitch or timbre of that teacher’s
voice. Other times, the teacher’s method makes it difficult for the student with hearing
loss to benefit from the class. The counselor has to empathize and understand. The third step is problem solving. It is a
good idea to encourage the student to become his or her own self advocate and to ask teachers
for help. At some point, it may become necessary for the counselor to step in to solve problems.
The counselor needs to understand whether the issue is related to hearing loss or not.
For example, the student may need additional notes in the class because of his or her inability
to hear. Sometimes, a longer term solution is required. For instance, languages are difficult
for many students with hearing loss. So, rather than take a foreign language, such as French,
as a second language, the student can take Latin, which doesn’t rely on oral learning. The counselor can become a confidante for
the student at school to share their frustrations with. Ultimately, the counselor along with
the teachers should try to create a nurturing, supportive, and accepting environment so that
the student can learn and build his or her self esteem. Above all, the counselor and the teachers
need to be both structured and flexible. Most students with hearing loss need structure
and predictability. At the same time, every student with hearing loss will have different
sets of needs and accommodations. This is why flexibility is also essential. To summarize, the counselor can play an important
role in discovering and addressing the issues facing students with hearing loss. Hearing loss is often called an invisible
disability. I would like to ask all teachers to please apply as many of the practices in
this video as possible. Because only with these practices can we remove
the DIS from disabilities. Thank you.

7 thoughts on “Teaching Mainstreamed Students with Hearing Loss, Zina Jawadi”

  1. No Limits for Deaf Children says:

    Great video. Thank you!

  2. Palmquist Haus says:

    You can also caption what's being said in the classroom. Two options are "CART Services" and software programs like "Interact-AS". To learn more about CART go to http://deafness.about.com/cs/cart/a/cart.htm; and to learn more about Interact-AS go to http://bit.ly/1s5N1vU

  3. kemicalGames says:

    Wow, a very well done video. Extremely educational with a personal touch.

  4. Evie Boyd says:

    Thank you for this well-organized and researched video. As a School Nurse I appreciate the content and tips – in fact, I used the information in this video to create an educational guide for teacher who have students with HL in their classrooms. Well done and kudos!

    Evelyn Egger, RN, MSN

  5. Sitti Andah says:

    Hi Zina Jawadi. This is a very useful tips for everyone to facilitate a students with HL .I hope this could be implemented properly in all kind of school setting. This video is very educational and as well as helpful. Thank you

  6. Leanne Usher says:

    Hi Zina – could you please elaborate – who are SRI? Thanks 🙂

  7. Mahmoud ElHadidy says:

    .Hi Zina, This is a very useful tips for me as a science teacher

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