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Working with the Student who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Disability Information Session UC Clermont October 29, 2009. Definitions.
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Working with the Student who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing Disability Information Session UC Clermont October 29, 2009
Definitions • Deaf - This term refers to members of the Deaf community who share common values, norms, traditions, language, and behaviors. Deaf people do not perceive themselves as having lost something (i.e., hearing) and do not think of themselves as handicapped, impaired, or disabled. They celebrate and cherish their culture because it gives them the unique privilege of sharing a common history and language. Deaf people are considered a linguistic minority within the American culture. They have their own culture and at the same time live and work within the dominant American culture.
Definitions • Deaf, hard of hearing, and deafened - Within the Deaf culture these words refer to a person's audiological status. Notice lower case "d'" is used. People who describe themselves as "hard of hearing" or "deafened" do not see themselves as members of the Deaf culture. Some may know sign language but their primary language is English. • Hearing Impaired - This term often is used by the media and society in general to refer to people with a hearing loss. A more acceptable generic phrase is "deaf and hard of hearing" to refer to all people with a hearing loss. Within the Deaf culture, the term "hearing impaired" often is seen as offensive. It suggests that Deaf people are "broken" or "inferior" because they do not hear.
Definitions • Hearing - Within the Deaf culture the term "hearing" is used to identify people who are members of the dominant American culture. One might think the ASL sign for "hearing" is related to the group's ability to hear (e.g., pointing to the ear). However, the sign for "hearing" is related to the ability to "talk." The act of talking is clearly visible to Deaf people, whereas listening or hearing is not. From the Deaf culture perspective, it is the act of "talking" that clearly separates the two groups.
By the Numbers • Number of adults with hearing trouble is 34.8 million or 15% • 12 out of every 1,000 persons with hearing impairment is under 18 years of age • Majority of individuals are hard of hearing and not “completely” deaf • More men report difficulty with hearing • Hearing difficulties increase with age Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2008 Numbers may not be accurate as many individuals do not want to report themselves as deaf of hard of hearing.
Etiology of Hearing Loss • Can be caused by a condition in pregnancy or premature birth • Can be genetic in nature or caused by a medical syndrome such as rubella, meningitis or severe ear infections • Approximately 50% of cases are due to unknown factors • Hearing loss can be acquired due to medication side effects, illness or loud noise (repeated exposure to ordinance, loud music)
Language Barriers • Individuals who are congenitally deaf or who become deaf in early childhood have difficulty with standard English because they miss out on “hearing” the sounds that contribute to language acquisition. • Individuals born to hearing parents are more language-delayed as they do not share a common language with their family. • NOT similar to students who are ESL learners. Those individuals most likely do not have a disability.
Cultural Considerations • Psychosocial basis is the fact that people who are deaf prefer to communicate and socialize with other people who are deaf • Since ASL is its own language, this makes the argument for deaf culture stronger • “Deaf culture” promotes pride and a sense of community whereas “deafness” or “hard of hearing” does not • Strong tendency to marry another individual who is deaf and hope for a deaf child to pass on culture and traditions • Common language improves socialization which can lead to better educational opportunities for children
Cochlear Implants • Very controversial • Deaf community feels as if their way of life is fully functional • Device is imbedded in the temporal bone where the electrodes do the work of the damaged cochlea and stimulate the auditory nerves that are sent to the brain • Most successful in younger children so they can acquire oral language skills • Seen as an attempt to “fix” deafness, implying something is “wrong” with being deaf
Classroom Accommodations • Don’t ask the interpreter and student to sit in the back of the room so they will be “less distracting” to the rest of the class • Don’t ask the interpreter or CART writer to help you pass out material or get something that you may need for class • Don’t skip over the student when making introductions or sharing information. They still have the right to fully participate in the class! • Write key phrases, concepts and assignments on the board • Use visual aids when possible (overheads/Pp)
Classroom Accommodations • Ensure that any DVD or Video shown is closed-captioned • Face the class instead of having your back to them when lecturing • Consider an alternate seating arrangement so the class has the option of facing each other when communicating • Present new concepts/vocabulary ahead of time so the student can be familiar with them ahead of time • Ask students to raise hands before speaking so a student who is deaf can easily identify who is speaking • If an interpreter is not present, you can write a quick note to the student if you need to tell them something immediately
Sign-Language Interpreters • An interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication and convey all auditory and signed information so that both hearing and deaf individuals may fully interact. • Interpreters typically have certification and follow a code of ethics. • Interpreters allow the student to be “in control” of their communication between the instructor and the rest of the class.
Interpreting Tips • When using a sign-language interpreter, look directly at the person who is deaf, and maintain eye contact to be polite. Talk directly to the person (‘What would you like?’), rather than to the interpreter (‘Ask her what she’d like.’) • Speak naturally and at a reasonable pace so the interpreter can convey the necessary material in a timely manner. • Allow the person who is deaf to ask questions through the interpreter. • The person who is deaf will have to look directly at the interpreter for communication so she/he will not be able to look at the instructor.
Interpreting Tips • UC Clermont typically provides 2 interpreters if the class covers complicated material or is lengthy. The interpreters will trade-off during the class so they will both need to be seated near the student for a smooth transition.
CART Writers • CART – Computer Aided Realtime Translation – is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text performed by a CART reporter using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text is then displayed on a computer monitor or other display device for the student who is deaf or hard of hearing to read. This technology is primarily used by people with hearing loss, but it also has been used by people with learning disabilities or those who are learning English as a second language.
CART Writers • Supernotes vs. Real Time • Transcripts • Don’t tell an interpreter or a CART writer that they are not needed for a particular class. This is the student’s decision to make.
Assistive Communication Devices • Hearing aids • FM Listening systems – personal device that uses radio frequency to transmit sound to a receiver worn by the person who is hard of hearing • Infrared systems – sound is transmitted through infrared light waves • Visual systems like TTY phone, speech recognition software, closed-captioning, notetaking • Alerting systems signal when a sound is made like a doorbell, vibrating alarm clock, fire alarm
Testing Considerations • Institutions need to determine guidelines for when interpreters are needed for testing • Various measures of assessment should be utilized. Tests alone may not be able to measure the student’s true knowledge of the material. • Students need to know test-taking skills • Tests should be written so they are clear and understandable for all learners. • An interpreter may be needed to interpret questions into ASL.
Online Classes • Will the class be required to view any videos/DVDs, media files? • Will the students be asked to chat either synchronously or asynchronously? • Disability Services will assist you in making accommodations when necessary. • It is helpful to think of all learners when designing online courses. • Elluminate example
Etiquette • People who are deaf need to be included in the decision-making process for issues that affect them; don’t decide for them. • Before speaking to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, make sure that you get her attention. Depending on the situation, you can extend your arm and wave your hand, tap her on the shoulder or flicker the lights. • There is no need to shout at a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. If the person uses a hearing aid, it will be calibrated to normal voice levels; your shout will just sound distorted.
Etiquette • Rephrase, rather than repeat, sentences that the person doesn’t understand • When talking, face the person. A quiet, well-lit room is most conducive to effective communication. If you are in front of the light source—such as a window—with your back to it, the glare may obscure your face and make it difficult for the person who is hard of hearing to speech read • Speak clearly. Most people who are hard of hearing count on watching people’s lips as they speak to help them understand. Avoid chewing gum, smoking or obscuring your mouth with your hand while speaking
Student Experience • Allen
Resources • http://www.pepnet.org/default.asp • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-209DSaW9g • http://www.washington.edu/doit/