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

Working One-on-One With Students

If a deaf student comes to your office hours to clarify a problem that was reviewed in class, how do you work with that student?

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

Scott Franklin
Physics Professor - COS
Photo of Scott FranklinSo probably about 15 years ago I was working with Harry Lang, he was a deaf education instructor over at NTID and he was deaf as well and I went to his office because we were writing a grant together and the question was how were we going to communicate and so we took one keyboard that was connected to his computer and we opened up word and when he wanted to talk he would type and when he was done he would give me the keyboard so I couldn't type or if I wanted to interrupt I had to get his attention and physically take the keyboard back and afterwards he said that that was the richest, most productive, most equitable conversation he had ever had with a hearing colleague and so I do that. I force students to do that, sometimes I've done it where I take two keyboards but they're connected to the same computer so if two people type at the same time you get a mish mash of garbled letters. And that I have found to be an enormously productive way of communicating, even better than texting because it is asynchronous, I think asynchronous right. So where as texting I might read your text as it is happening and be responding while you're already still composing the next part of the text and so we're talking over or past each other. What this does whether its one keyboard or multiple keyboards is I can't talk while you're talking and I have to sit and wait and think about what I want to say but we can't talk at the same time and that's been incredible powerful.

Patricia Iglesias
Associate Professor - COE
Photo of Patricia IglesiasWell communication for me was never a problem, I know sign language now, but before knowing sign language it was never a problem. So it is true that it is engineering courses so most of the time we do paper back and forth with hearing and deaf students so with both. So the students know that you are there to help them, so you are willing to help so communication will never be a problem. I know that some student are using you know some apps and I know that in my department with the academic advisors sometimes they have two screens to communicate with deaf students, but in my case when it is one on one I don't have any problem with paper back and forth and that's it.

Philip Gelsomino II
Visiting Lecturer - SCB
Photo of Philip Gelsomino III always leave it up to the student is to what they're most comfortable with. I say if you want an interpreter present schedule an interpreter, if you feel comfortable that you can read my lips or are or are emotional responses or actions or gestures are able to work we'll do a little of that if you can write down and we can communicate in writing as well as nonverbal and verbal queues we do it. It works. It depends on the student really its whatever they feel comfortable with we make work.

Sharon Mason
Professor - GOL
Photo of Sharon MasonOne of the things I really like for students to do since we have a lot of lab based courses is to try and use that lab time, a lot of time we have a few minutes at the beginning or at the end that is flexible and I can work with a student then, because there’s almost always an interpreter available then. But if a student does need to come to my office during office hours or other hours, and there is no interpreter available, I will be sure to do as much as I can on the white board. I try to specifically avoid “yes” and “no” questions, to pose open ended questions to the students, so that I can be sure when they answer those questions that I’m hearing the level of detail that I’m expecting them to have in order to be fully grasping the material. And then I will use my keyboard, a lot, share my keyboard with the student, by just bringing up a text document and typing in answers. And allowing them to type in questions and answers and that seems faster than sometimes writing it on the board or on paper. And then I can just print it and hand it to the student and that seems to work well.