The Deaf and Hard of Hearing World

A guide for teachers and parents

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The Definitions

  • Deafness (Deaf) - A person with a severe or profound hearing impairment and can be label as "Deaf".

For example, limited sound can by perceived, meaning it is not the primary for gaining information (Smith, 2014, p.293).

  • Hard of hearing (HoH)- A person with a permanent or fluctuating impairment hearing and has a hearing loss range from mild to moderate severe.

For example, information can be processed from sound through the help of a hearing aid (Smith, 2014, p.293).

Describing the Structure of the Human Ear

Three main parts of the Human Ear:

  • The Outer Ear- The pinna and auditory canal
  • The Middle Ear- The eardrum, Eustachian tube, and ossicles (hammer, anvil, and stirrup)
  • The Inner Ear- The cochlea, its membrane and hair cells, and the semicircular canals

The Four Types of Hearing Loss

  • Conductive- Temporary or correctable in the outer or middle ear
  • Sensorineural- Damage in the inner earn by hair cells, auditory nerve causes or old age
  • Mixed- A combination with Conductive and Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Auditory Neuropathy spectrum disorder- Damage to the inner ear or acoustic (auditory nerves)

Severity of Hearing Loss

  • Mid (21-40 dB): Only speech that is soft or difficult from a distance to hear or understand
  • Moderate (41-55 dB): A conversational is hard to follow along
  • Moderately (56-70 dB): Can only hear loud speech
  • Severe (71-90 dB): Loud Speech is hard to understand
  • Profound (91dB +): "Deafness", needs assist listening device to understand information or know ASL
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Prevalence Rates

There are 12,000 babies that are born each year with a hearing loss. However, people that are older than 70 years old, half of them have hearing loss.

Only 40 % of students with a hearing loss also have an additional disability and less than 1% of students receive special services through IDEA's.

Students with different levels of severity hearing loss have different inclusions. Students with mild to moderate hearing loss have a least restrictive educational environment, a very good communication skill, and do extracurricular activities. While profound hear loss students have a restrictive education setting that uses manual communication and no oral speech. Even students at Deaf school complain about not having much opportunities for friendships nor extracurricular activities like sports since they feel segregate from the other schools. (Smith, 2014, p.300)

The Major Characteristics

  • Genetic mutations- meningitis
  • Pre/Peri/Post birth complications
  • Illness/ inflections/ disease- ear or sinus infections
  • Noise exposure- loud music
  • Pharmacy drugs
  • Trauma
  • Old age

A Day in the Life of Someone who is Deaf

A Day in the Life of Someone who is Deaf, Part 2

Interference in a Child's learning

The four impacts that can affect a child's learning..

  • Social skills- Since social skills are needed for communication, if the child does not develop good communication skills, it could have a negatively impact on making friendships
  • Intellectual development- Have a hard time speaking, writing, and reading the English language
  • Speech and language- Children with a mild to moderate hearing loss may have minimal issues if getting diagnosis and treated at a early age. However, profound hearing loss may have trouble with accessing auditory feedback
  • Educational achievement- May experience delay with hearing peers and difficultly succeeding since the educational system relies on spoken words and written language only

However, hearing impairment students have the highest high school graduation percentage than any other disabilities.

A main issue that a student with a hearing loss may have is not fully understanding the interprets signing if using ASL to communicate daily. Some interprets signing or structure of the language may cause problem's for the student trying to learn. The student may not be getting all the information correctly and have conflict with the material later on.

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Classroom Accommodations, Modifications & Strategies

  • An Interpreter can help translate spoken English words to ASL. The teacher and the interpret must meet up before class to go over the class materials and instructions designate the classroom for the student to see both the teacher and the interpret, and involved the student in groups with other students and with the interpret to assist the communication.

  • Hearing Aids are a type of device that amplify sound; however, background noise can interfere with hearing aids. Therefore, the teacher can wear a microphone and have a speaker next to the student to amplify the sounds for the student with a hearing loss to help.

  • Another assist listening device like an induction or hearing loop or a FM transmission Device to amplify sounds and reduce background noises in large rooms or use wireless.

  • Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) can help the student see lectures on a screen in front of them from what the teacher is saying. It can translate up to 300 words a minute.

1.) Addition Accommodation Website for Children with a Hearing Loss

2.) Addition Information about Hearing Aids for Children

3.) Addition Information about Open & Closed Captions

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Home Accommodations, Modifications & Strategies

  • American Sign Language is a natural, a manual, and a visual language by using signs to communicate. It has it own grammar, syntax, and idioms like other language do. ASL can help a student with communication information from the teacher by an interpreter or assist technology.

  • Captions are printed words that appear at the bottom of a TV screen. They are two kinds open captions and closed. Open caption appear on a TV screen for everyone to see while closed caption need to put on TV by menu.

  • Total communication approach with your children at home. Having a good communication with your child can help understand their moods, thoughts, and feelings. Using signed English, finger spelling, or cue speech can increase your relationship with your child with a hearing loss. Good Communication is the key to having a successful relationship with each other and knowing how to be a better parent towards your child.

4.) Additon ASL for Parents to Teach Infants & Toddlers

ASL For Infants And Toddlers

5.) Addition Signing & Questions about ASL for Kids

Signing Time Vol. 13 Welcome to School | Sign Language for Kids

6.) Addition Accommodations for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Common Accommodations for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

7.) Addition Free Application to Download!

This app can help a person who has a hearing loss by translating voice to text. So, if someone is deaf or hard of hearing, they can text a message to a hearing person then the hearing person can response back to the question by record their voice. It is a great app to integrate speech to text by the help of assist technology. It will indeed help a person with a hearing loss to communicate with a hearing person at a store, shopping, or etc.
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Definitions. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from

Hearing Impairments (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from Project IDEAL website:

The Ear Canal and Natural Sound. (n.d). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from Lyric website:

Smith, D. D. & Tyler, N. C. (2014). Introduction to contemporary special education. Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. (ISBN-13:978-0-13-294461-8)