Youth who are deafened tend to rely on written English or French as their primary mode of communication. Speech-to-text services provide instant information and transcripts can help the student review the material at a later time. Students who have hearing loss may not know about this service or other similar options.
Best practices to consider:
- Youth who are deafened use varied modes of communication, depending on the age of onset of hearing loss and cultural background
- Most tend to use notetaking or real-time translation services. Check with the Office of Disability Services at your college or university
- Be aware of environmental issues (i.e. bright lights). Bright light shining makes it difficult to speechread, pick up visual cues, etc.
- Repeat questions and answers if at all possible
- Use written English or French whenever possible
- Indicate who is speaking in classroom discussions so that students who are deafened are aware of who is talking
- Provide access for out-of-classroom activities such as community assignments, group meetings, etc.
- Look directly at the deafened youth when speaking
- Try to speak clearly and at a normal pace
- Provide visual aids (i.e. smart board) whenever possible
- Allow time after class for the student who is deafened to ask questions privately
- Investigate other resources like The Canadian Hearing Society at chs.ca or the Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Inc.at http://www.alda.org/