How to include hearing impaired children

They can range from fully deaf to suffering from ‘glue ear’ every once in a while. There are probably only a few small changes you need to make to help them understand, and even better these tips help those who have English as an additional language as well.

This video is made by hearing impaired children and aimed at class teachers, there is a summery of the points below:

  1. Avoid Visual Distractions
    Stand/sit in front of a plain background. Don’t expect children to write and listen at the same time. Use visuals to aid understanding.
  2. Keep still and face the class
    If you know you have an HI child ask them or their parents what a good distance for them is, and then act on that. Try to keep the area between you and that child free of noise distractions; that is often what the hearing aid will magnify instead of your voice. Know which ear is better or assisted.
  3. Make yourself clear
    Dont shout, don’t mumble, don’t speak too fast or too slow. Use subtitles if watching a clip and pause it to reiterate key points. Always check their understanding to see how much they have picked up.
  4. To get attention…
    Stamp, tap their shoulder, waveor raise a hand. Make sure you have their attention efore you speak. In groups take turns speaking, something to hold when you want to talk is helpful for the child to know who to look at.
  5. Remember to be patient and calm.
    Lip reading takes a lot of concentration, a HI child will get tired quicker than most. Allow them time to process a question and then think of an answer before you prompt them or rephrase the question. It’s often better to ask what they’re thinking rather than give them a clue. Repeat important points and what is said by others, including jokes and less relevent comments HI people will miss out on a lot of background conversation. Expect less general knowledge from them; they may never have overheard anything!