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Supporting Effective Teaching Experiences with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Classroom Strategies for Success

What strategies do you use in class to insure the Deaf and hard of hearing students are fully engaged and able to participate?

Click on the images below to see video of the teacher's comments.

Patricia Iglesias
Associate Professor - COE
Photo of Patricia IglesiasSo I think one important thing, and that's one important thing that Bradley you know reminded me of today, is take some time between you know when I am explaining something give them some time to think about it. And also when I'm asking a question give them time to answer, sometimes I'm too energetic so I'm asking the question and I'm responding to the question myself. So it is good to just have some time to let them think, not only deaf but also hearing and they will have the time to understand the question and then answer. So I think take the time to let them think is important.

Philip Gelsomino II
Visiting Lecturer - SCB
Photo of Philip Gelsomino III treat them like everyone else, and I ask them questions and wait for answers and they participate. So the types of courses I teach I'm heavy discussion it's not just lecture and you sit there and listen what I like to do is validate that you're understanding what we're talking about. So when a student asks a question of me I always say ask your classmates I don't care who's asking the question and then they have to turn, which is totally taking them out of their comfort zone, hearing or hard of hearing it makes no difference and they have to ask the question and then they have to communicate with each other. If it needs me to step in I step in, but otherwise I keep everybody participating so if I know somebody's not paying attention I ask them and I wait for an answer and if they don't know the answer I don't beat them up I just say ok here's the answer ask the class they'll give you the answer and we'll move on.

Scott Franklin
Physics Professor - COS
Photo of Scott FranklinWe encourage active listening and we spend some time talking about what that looks like, what it means, we revisit it throughout the semester so the idea that we have to pay attention to what our group members are saying and how they are sitting and how they are participating and that's the responsibility for group participation is on the entire group so if you see someone who is not participating it is your responsibility to ask the question to bring that person in. And then we have some reflective activities where we say how well did this work and what was your key contribution, was there someone in this group that you either brought in and how did you do that or did someone bring you in and how did they do that?

Gina Ferrari
Senior Lecturer - CIAS
Photo of Gina FerrariI teach 2D design and it's a studio course so within the studio course there's lecture but there is a lot of group activity, communication, exchange of information in between students and it's important that all students participate and be part of the conversation. And I think it's important for students to become comfortable with each other, learn each other's names, know each other, know a little about everybody's history and experiences so creating a relaxed environment, an environment where, an environment that's inclusive where everybody feels comfortable in participating.

Laura Dwyer
Senior Lecturer - SCB
Photo of Laura DwyerSo this is a pretty timely question for me because I'm teaching a marketing analytics class right now and I have two deaf students in the class and both of them frankly are struggling because of all the math in the class and the interpreters are having a hard time keeping up with the class lecture and helping the students stay on track in the classroom because it moves pretty quickly. So we've used a couple of tools so I print out the slides for the deaf students ahead of class time, they told me that that would be helpful to them if they had the notes ahead of time, on paper so they could write that out. During the exercise in class I always travel over to that part of the classroom and touch base, how are we doing here, do you need extra help? I talk to the interpreters about making sure that you know they understand what is going on. Often time deaf students tend to work by themselves and I'm always aware of, like I'll say find a couple of people to work with right during a class exercise and often times I'll see them kind of by themselves sort of struggling through the thing and always I'll walk over and I'll say, ìhey Joey and Charlie up here need a partner to work with, why don't you move up to that area of the classroom and work with them on the projectî so always trying to integrate them into the class process.

Sandra Connelly
Instructional Professor - CIAS
Photo of Sandra ConnellyI tell my students on the first day of class every year that it's not me as your instructor, we have an instructional team and that team is me, the interpreters, the captionists, the note takers and the students. It has to be everybody on board or we don't get anywhere so it has to be that and if the students see that, see that the relationship between the interpreters and the captionists and the faculty is a very strong one and a very supportive one their dynamic in the class changes as well. So the students see the respect that is needed to get the job done and then they understand the respect that is needed from their end to get the learning done.

Carol Fillip
Associate Professor - CIAS
Photo of Carol FillipWith my design students, they will be working on a project and many times we all hang them up and then we all have to talk about them. The thing is is that it’s what we do so there’s always classroom discussion, it’s not just a lecture class a lot of times it’s someone standing up in front of the class and lecturing. So what I do which I think is beneficial for all the students and it’s not just the deaf and hard of hearing I think having things written down on paper so what I do is I come up with a list of questions that is directly related to the objectives of the project and I have students rotate around the classroom and a lot of time I have them working collaboratively, sometimes independently and they write written comments on everybody’s work and so after that’s done then each student sits back down in their spot and reads the comments and I go around the room and force them to talk about so it’s nice because it’s almost like they have a cheat sheet to go by and somehow they don’t seem intimidated. I do it for a lot of different reasons but it’s a struggle getting especially freshmen and sophomores, any freshmen and sophomores to talk about their work and to be an active participant in the classroom discussions so I think it’s good advice for anybody teaching any student.