Communicating With Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

This is a nice hard of hearing (hh) document that is helpful for others to know more about hh and communication with them.

Living with hearing loss

This came from the website: (This link is dead)
I liked how this reinforced what Sue told us at last year's workshop about how hard of hearing people are diverse too, since their hearing loss varies. Hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything I can help. God bless, CK
If you have never interacted with a student who is deaf or hard of hearing, you may be unsure of how to best communicate or what to expect.
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing come from a variety of backgrounds. Some voice for themselves, while others speak through an interpreter. Some use sign language, while others may use real-time captioning or rely on lip reading, written communication, hearing aids, or FM systems.

Tips to improve communication:

  • Face the individual when speaking to provide visual cues that assist with communication.
  • Avoid chewing gum, placing a hand over your mouth, or turning your back. These actions make it difficult for the individual to lip-read and see facial expressions.
  • Enunciate clearly, but not in an exaggerated fashion. Speak at a normal pace.
  • Speak directly to the person and not to a sign language interpreter, captionist, or friend.
  • Check lighting. If you are darkening a room for a program (e.g., a slide presentation), make sure you have a light for the interpreter.
  • Give materials to the student, interpreter, and captionist in advance whenever possible. Reviewing lecture notes, handouts, song lyrics, etc., in advance helps orient the student and allows the interpreter or captionist to better prepare to translate the class content.
  • Place yourself and the interpreter in the same line of vision for the student. Interpreters may ask where you will be sitting or standing so they can sit or stand near you. Make sure there isn't a window (glare) behind either you or the interpreter.
  • Repeat questions from others in the classroom before answering.
  • Remember that there is a lag time when an interpreter or captionist translates. So, for example, in group discussions, use strategies that facilitate inclusion, such as allowing time for the deaf or hard-of-hearing student to respond.
  • To get the attention of a deaf or hard-of-hearing person, use a hand motion or wave in the person's field of peripheral vision.
  • When a student doesn't understand what you're saying, rephrase rather than repeat.
  • Be patient. When asked to repeat your statements, do not say, "Never mind." Consider communicating in a different way, such as in writing.

Hints for Setting Up Interpreters for a Mother or Father who is Deaf
who has a child in a School Setting