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Impact of Unilateral Hearing Loss in the Classroom


Having unilateral hearing loss (UHL) as a child can be quite challenging. Especially in a classroom where UHL students might be grouped together with the students who have normal hearing. Unilateral hearing loss is used to indicate ALL children who have hearing loss in one ear, and specifically for those with any residual hearing. Even though they don't have normal hearing, they aren't completely deaf and may be grouped with kids who hear and communicate normally. In the classroom, this can impact how well they receive information and how they are able to communicate with the teachers and other students. In this blog, we will discuss how UHL affects children’s language development and some potential solutions! 

Impact of UHL on Language and School Performance 

Below we will discuss some statistics comparing UHL students with normal hearing students so we can see how it impacts learning and development in the classroom. Why are these numbers important? It can...

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Using Student Observation to Support Your Gen Ed Teacher

Did you know that the brain has a powerful need to finish what it starts?   When it can't finish something, your brain makes a mental sticky note to finish it. Thoughts about what we could not finish lingers in the back of our minds as a way to remind us that something still needs to be completed.   Although this natural mechanism exists to help us remember our “to do” list, it can also overwhelm us when that list is unending.  (James and Kendell, 1997).   



 Do you ever feel like the list of things you need to do to support your DHH child/student is unending?  This is because you can never mentally “check off” that you have completed the task of meeting their needs.  I know we are not supposed to use words like “always” or “never.”  But in this case, the situation really is NEVER.  As soon as you check something off your list, something new gets added.  It's...

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What About a Classroom Interpreter?


The school year is rapidly approaching and I am working to make sure my students with hearing loss are established in an environment that will support them and give them the opportunity to thrive.

I am reminded that students with hearing loss who need sign language to fully access their classroom may not actually thrive in a classroom with an interpreter. In fact, this environment may actually hold them back.

The key is LANGUAGE. Do they ALREADY have enough LANGUAGE to be able to benefit from a sign language interpreter?


Children cannot effectively learn sign and develop language by watching an interpreter.   They must have the language first.


If they do not, putting them in this environment may actually impede their learning and have lifelong negative effects.

I recently posted about this in my Facebook group Professionals Working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students and Parents ACCESSing the Way for Their Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child and the...

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Establishing Foundations for Success in the Gen Ed Classroom

Establishing Foundations for Success in the Gen Ed Classroom

What will lead to the success of a deaf and hard of hearing student in the general education classroom? There are many factors to consider, including the mutual understanding and  interpersonal dynamics between the general and special educators, as well as time for instructional planning.   Below are a few tips to help establish some foundations that will allow for success for a child with hearing loss.

Tip 1: Keep away from assumptions. If you’re a general education teacher who will be working with a student with hearing loss, you may be entering this year with some assumptions about your new student.  These assumptions may be based on a past student you’ve had with hearing loss, or from things you’ve heard from others, or even from what you’ve seen on TV.  Be aware that students with hearing loss are just as diverse as students without hearing loss and it’s very likely...

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Preparing for the General Education Classroom

As promised, we’re back with a second post about preparing your deaf or hard of hearing child/student for the mainstream classroom! If you need a little refresher of what we talked about last time, we went into detail about how to identify if the general education classroom is inclusive and accessible for your child/student. Check back on the previous post to read those details of what to consider and how to get started. In this blog post, we will talk about how to start implementing tools to ensure that your DHH child/student is prepped for success. 


Now that you have determined that the general education classroom is appropriate, how do we get a general education classroom ready for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing? The first step is to determine potential barriers. Then, design teacher training procedures around strategies to reduce challenges (we’ll get to that later…..). 


Right now we are just going to talk about some factors...

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Is Your Student REALLY Ready for the Mainstream Classroom?

Is your Deaf or Hard of Hearing student REALLY ready for the mainstream classroom?

This blog post will help you confirm this placement and help align your student for success. 

Why this post?  Providing you with a way to get  data-based and needs-specific information for student placement will ensure your student will be in a classroom and environment that caters to their specific needs. Not only will your student have access to their mainstream education through this tailored learning, but they will also be better equipped in social situations and communicating with their peers. 


Why prepare?  Isn’t what’s in place already good enough? Nearly 90% of DHH students in the US are mainstreamed in public school programs. And, of those students, about half are in a general education classroom with the support of a DHH itinerant teacher. That is a large number of DHH students in a general education setting needing support. This means that...

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Meeting the Social Needs of DHH Students

I recently spoke to teachers and family members in New York about meeting the social needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.  This is a topic that I am passionate about and one that is a special challenge - especially for students who are mainstreamed.


I'm passionate about this topic because of the statistics of mental health for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.  Let's take a look at them:


Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing:

*  Are 1.5 times more likely to feel left out  

*  Have a 25% higher incidence of loneliness  

*  Are 1.46 times more likely to experience mental problems  

*  Are 28% more likely to find overall mental health fair or poor


Why are students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing more likely to experience these feelings of isolation?

Lack of access to people and missing what's going on around you can create feelings of isolation.  For many students who are deaf or...

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