Hard of Hearing and Deafness

Understanding and Accommodating the Hearing Impaired

The Difference between Deafness and Hard of Hearing

Being Deaf means that sound is not perceived by the ear.
-Hearing loss is so severe that all communication must be visual.
- Being Deaf also means that you are apart of a sign language community.
Hard of hearing- Is a degree of hearing loss, it can range from low to high hearing loss. People that are hard of hearing may use hearing aids or other devices to assist them in hearing. They depend on spoken English when communicating with others and not ASL.


  • -Difficulty following verbal cues
  • -Articulation difficulty
  • -Have a language delay
  • -Difficulty interacting with peers

People that are deaf or hard of hearing have difficulty following verbal directions because they can't hear the direction. This will lead them to have problems in the classrooms, because they aren't able to follow instructions if it is only given in a way they can't understand.


  • There are over 28 millions people in America that are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • There are over 24,000 children born in the U.S. every year with some degree of hearing loss.
Navigating deafness in a hearing world | Rachel Kolb | TEDxStanford


One major characteristic for the Deaf or hard of hearing is that they have difficulty following verbal instructions. These are data-based practices to help accommodate Deaf or hard of hearing students in the classroom.

  • Have an interpreter- Interpreters can allow student to understand what the teacher is saying by signing everything she says.
  • Have closed captioning when a video is being played- This will create a more visual way of understanding because they can watch the action being done in the video, and they can also read what is going on.
  • Allow time after handouts are given- This will give them time to read the handout before instructions are given. Once instructions are given they can watch their interpreter rather than look back in fourth at the handout and at the interpreter.
  • Have a note taker- This will allow them to be able to watch the interpreter or watch the teacher, without having to divert their attention for two tasks.

Each accommodation depends on the needs of the student. They may do better with an interpreter or reading the teacher's lips while a note taker takes notes for them. Customize your accommodation based on what works best for the student.


1. Learn ASL- The parent and child should learn ASL. It is proven that children who learn ASL before learning verbal language do better intellectually. This will also allow you and your child to bond better because you can efficiently communicate with each other.

2. Focus on child's ability rather than his disability. Learn what his likes and interests are. This will allow your child to feel confident and comfortable with himself. The Deaf community is really strong on"Deaf pride", so become apart of the Deaf community. Your child shouldn't feel that he is alone, and should know that he has more to offer, and can do anything he wants to do in life.

3. Safe environment-Make sure to make modifications in the home so that your child is safe, by installing flashing fire alarms.


Quick Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/Pages/quick.aspx

Definitions. (2013, February 11). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNAMIC_CONVERSION&dID=152685

Deaf/Hard of Hearing. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://web.jhu.edu/disabilities/faculty/types_of_disabilities/deafness.html