Assistive Technology for Children with Hearing Impairment in the Classroom
Most mainstream schools aren’t designed to accommodate the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is not uncommon for students with audiological challenges to be redirected to specialty programs in the area.
At CCHAT, we know from experience such children can thrive in mainstream programs along with their hearing peers. In fact, our entire curriculum is dedicated to this singular goal.
However, when a school is unfamiliar with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices, educators often have difficulty anticipating their students’ needs – both academically and socially.
If this sounds familiar, we may be able to provide some guidance.
CCHAT specializes in helping mainstream schools overcome the above challenges. Our educational audiologists and deaf and hard of hearing teachers can train your faculty to more effectively address the unique needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, we also offer a range of audiological and mainstream support services for parents, educators, and administrators who work with students from Pre-K through 12th grade.
Classroom Learning for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices can help with hearing loss, but these technologies cannot completely replicate the fidelity and clarity of normal hearing.
However, there are a number of solutions which can increase a student’s comprehension and engagement in the classroom.
Personal FM systems are a perfect example. With this approach, teachers can use wireless microphones throughout their lessons. An audio signal is sent via FM radio waves directly to whatever assistive hearing devices the students are wearing.
Portable, lightweight, and non-disruptive, this solution allows children who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate more fully in classroom learning.
Another popular approach is to utilize soundfield systems within classroom settings. These can be wall mounted or standalone speakers which can be shared among several children simultaneously. The downside, however, is these systems are less portable than their personal FM counterparts.
Captioning can also be very effective for lessons involving audio or video (A/V). This technology is similar to the “closed captioning” typically used in TV shows, and under federal law, schools are required to provide captioned A/V content on request.
Embracing the Full Spectrum of Assistive Devices in the Classroom
The above examples are just scratching the surface. There now exists any number of non-invasive assistive hearing technologies that teachers can use throughout their curricula.
Other notable examples include:
- Teletypewriter (TTY)
- Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD)
- Voice to text software programs
- CART Communication Real-Time Translation
And although no single approach is best for all situations, our trained audiologists can help schools design the ideal complement of assistive hearing technologies to help meet the unique needs of students, faculty, and parents.
To learn more about using assistive devices for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, schedule a schedule a consultation with us today.