Whether you are a student yourself or you have a child that is a student, success in the classroom while dealing with a hearing issue is vitally important. The Hearing Loss Association of America says that, “About 2-3 of every 1,000 children are hard of hearing or deaf.”1 This does not necessarily mean that the child is a student, but it is safe to assume that a large majority are.
Parents and educators alike should be aware of their students hearing ability and if there is a need for assistance. By knowing which children in the classroom have hearing issues, one can better prepare the classroom environment for those children. This is important because it can play a significant role in the student’s success.
For parents, many will already know if their child has hearing loss from a hearing screening that every newborn receives before leaving the hospital to go home. This evaluation, in most cases, takes place at every check-up for the baby. During this time, hopefully, the parent and health care provider would find out if the child has any hearing issues.
The earlier an issue with hearing is found, the better the outcome for the child’s language and speech development. This also goes hand-in-hand with learning outcomes in the classroom for the rest of the child’s life. Those with hearing loss can experience confusion, have an effect on school work, and even have problems hearing what the teacher is saying in the first place.
According to The Hearing Loss Association of America, “Research has shown that on average, children with mild hearing loss perform poorer than their normally-hearing peers and may need to repeat a grade.”1 This number has been on the rise due to more noise exposure children are coming in contact with. Some examples include the noise from MP3 players, iPods, musical instruments, and more.
However, an organization called Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss has developed a list of tools for parents and educators to use to help create child student success.2 Although this is not an exhaustive list, this is a great starting point of accommodations and modifications for students with hearing loss. One of the main goals of the list is to “provide maximal access to the general curriculum and meet the learning needs of the student with hearing loss.”2
The following is a list of accommodations to consider to aid in the success of child students:
Physical Environment Accommodations:
Source of List: Johnson, Benson, & Seaton. (1997). Educational Audiology Handbook. Appendix 11-A, p.448. Singular publishing Group, Inc.
Minor adaptations by Karen L. Anderson, PhD
Posted August, 2012
The above list gives insight into the amount of options that exists to improve students hearing and learning capabilities in the classroom. This involves the educator, the parent, and sometimes both. To influence student’s success, the first step is for those involved with the students learning to be aware of whether or not they have hearing loss issues. From there, extensive accommodations can be created to support student success.
1. Basic Facts About Hearing Loss | Hearing Loss Association of America. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from http://www.hearingloss.org/content/basic-facts-about-hearing-loss
2. Accommodations for Students with Hearing Loss – Success For Kids With Hearing Loss. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from http://successforkidswithhearingloss.com/relationship-hl-listen-learn/accommodations/