How to handle hearing loss in the classroom

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Seating tips for teachers

  • Children don’t have to sit front and centre if that’s not their style, but they should sit close to their teacher in a place where their view is not obstructed.
  • If the child notices an echo, they should be allowed to move to a different seat.
  • Make sure each child can clearly see the whiteboard or screen without glare. Pull down the blinds if it means seeing the whiteboard or screen more easily.

Be prepared

  • Help children prepare ahead so they know what is going to be discussed. This will make it easier for them to follow the lesson.
  • Identify a buddy who a child can partner with—someone who can share notes or assist if the child misses some of the lesson.
  • Help minimise background noise by sitting children with hearing loss away from noisy areas such as windows and doors—and talkative classmates especially!

Other tips for teachers

  • Speak clearly (but don’t feel the need to be excessively loud or exaggerated because that can make things worse).
  • Try not to move around too much if the student is trying to lip-read.
  • Face forward when speaking. Avoid talking when your back is turned and be careful to ensure your hands and other objects aren’t obstructing the student’s view of your lips.
  • If the child uses an FM system, wear the transmitter and understand how to use it properly.
  • Help reduce environmental noise in the room by installing carpets and rugs, wall hangings, curtains, and felt or rubber on the bottom of the legs of chairs and desks.

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