The job you do is tough, wonderful, and not given the respect it deserves. You are truly phenomenal folks who do amazing work in your subjects, and I'm honored to be working with you all (and it makes me miss my Gen Ed days teaching Language Arts and Social Studies to middle and high school kiddos). 



I'm hoping that these basic lessons on Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing kiddos and their needs will make life a little easier on you. 

First, a poster that is helpful:

Tips for working with Deaf Signing students:

If you are working with a Deaf student who uses ASL and an interpreter, please read their IEP and confer with the Teacher of the Deaf and the interpreter. ASL interpreters are highly trained professionals, and invaluable members of your educational team. Remember, while this may be your first time working with a signing student, it isn't theirs.

For some basic info on interpreting in mainstream classrooms, please read up by clicking the link below, produced by Boystown Research hospital:

Here are some tips. according to Sara Novic (an author and assistant Professor at University of Stockton):


* Don't talk about us in the 3rd person. The interpreter will translate it that way and you'll look like a doofus. Talk to us, you know, like humans.
* Expect a little lag time.
* Don't say "never mind."
* The interpreter is not an aide, for us or you. They're not helping us with the quiz, or helping you pass back the quiz, k?
* Do not lower your expectations for your deaf students. Offer support/resources where necessary, but don't skimp them out of a learning experience. They paid for it, too. 


Tips for working with oral (speaking and listening)  students:

Read their IEP/504. This will tell you their specific accommodations, the extent of their hearing loss, whether their loss is unilateral (one side) or bilateral (both sides) and more.

Sit the student near where you will be. Generally this is the front of the classroom, but if you move around, you may need to get creative.

Face your student when you are speaking to them. This means no talking while writing on the white board. Most Hard-of-Hearing students get a good deal of information from speechreading (lipreading) and your facial expressions.

Repeat answers given by other students. If you ask for an answer from the class, repeating the name of the student who answered as well as their answers. Same goes for questions from the students in the class.

Allow your student to ask you for clarification.  They may need information repeated since speech-reading (lipreading) is notoriously imperfect. Check for comprehension, as well.

Use their technology. If they have an FM or a sound-field sysyem, make sure you have turned it on and have it unmuted. 

Below are links to some common FM trouble-shooting videos, but if issues persist, please contact your Teacher of the Deaf.