1. K-State home
  2. »Student Access Center
  3. »Faculty Information
  4. »Accommodations
  5. »Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Student Access Center

Things you should know when working with students with a hearing loss

Methods of communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may include:

  • Sign Language Interpreters: This is typically the preferred method.
  • Lip reading: This may work well for a one-on-one meeting when an interpreter is not available.
  • Writing: This works well for brief meetings when an interpreter is not available.
  • Electronic: Using things such as computers, iPads, e-mail, and texting to exchange messages may be useful for brief meetings or encounters.
  • Look directly at the person who is deaf or hard of hearing not the interpreter and maintain eye contact throughout the conversation.
  • Phrases such as “Tell him/her” are not necessary.
  • Do not cover your mouth or face.  It makes it impossible to read lips.
  • Do not use exaggerated lip movements, speak normally
  • Speaking louder does not help
  • Interpreters follow a code of ethics which includes confidentiality.  Therefore, interpreters are not able to answer personal questions on behalf of the student.  Please direct personal questions to the student.
  • Be aware of lighting: sufficient lighting is needed to see the interpreter and/or speaker
  • Do not stand in front of windows or sources of bright light
  • Seating: Make sure deaf/hard of hearing person is able to see both you and the interpreter
  • Class discussion: Please keep in mind that a student using an interpreter or captionist will always get the information after everyone else.  In order to allow the student a better opportunity to participate it is helpful to pause after asking the class a question, and then select someone to answer.
  • Small Group Discussion: Interpreter/s will join the small group and interpret between members of the small group.  It is helpful to ask students to be courteous and speak one at a time.
  • Exams: Please write any corrections or changes to an exam on the board.  This is not only helpful for the deaf/hard of hearing student but to all the students.
  • Be aware, people are unable to do multiple visual tasks at the same time.  This includes situations such as trying to write or read and read lips or watch a sign language interpreter simultaneously.   
  • Preferred Seating: Student may need to sit in the front row in order to read your lips and/or see the interpreter.
  • FM Listening System: This is an amplification device used by students with a small to moderate hearing loss.  It requires the instructor to wear a microphone attached to a transmitting device.
  • Real-time or Remote Captioning: This involves a captionist in the classroom or a captionist in a remote location that types what is said in class and then is immediately transmitted to the student’s laptop.
  • Sign Language Interpreter: This will involve working with the interpreter to establish an appropriate place to interpret, and getting materials such as handouts and or complimentary books so they have an opportunity to study vocabulary used in class.
  • Note-taking Services:
  • Captioned Videos: Use videos that are closed captioned.  Be aware of how to turn on the closed captioning on equipment being used in the classroom.

Etiquette:

  • Look directly at the person who is deaf or hard of hearing not the interpreter and maintain eye contact throughout the conversation.
  • Phrases such as “Tell him/her” are not necessary.
  • Do not cover your mouth or face.  It makes it impossible to read lips.
  • Do not use exaggerated lip movements, speak normally
  • Speaking louder does not help
  • Interpreters follow a code of ethics which includes confidentiality.  Therefore, interpreters are not able to answer personal questions on behalf of the student.  Please direct personal questions to the student.

Environment:

  • Be aware of lighting: sufficient lighting is needed to see the interpreter and/or speaker
  • Do not stand in front of windows or sources of bright light
  • Seating: Make sure deaf/hard of hearing person is able to see both you and the interpreter
  • Class discussion: Please keep in mind that a student using an interpreter or captionist will always get the information after everyone else.  In order to allow the student a better opportunity to participate it is helpful to pause after asking the class a question, and then select someone to answer.
  • Small Group Discussion: Interpreter/s will join the small group and interpret between members of the small group.  It is helpful to ask students to be courteous and speak one at a time.
  • Exams: Please write any corrections or changes to an exam on the board.  This is not only helpful for the deaf/hard of hearing student but to all the students.
  • Be aware, people are unable to do multiple visual tasks at the same time.  This includes situations such as trying to write or read and read lips or watch a sign language interpreter simultaneously.   

Academic Accommodations May Include:

  • Preferred Seating: Student may need to sit in the front row in order to read your lips and/or see the interpreter.
  • FM Listening System: This is an amplification device used by students with a small to moderate hearing loss.  It requires the instructor to wear a microphone attached to a transmitting device.
  • Real-time or Remote Captioning: This involves a captionist in the classroom or a captionist in a remote location that types what is said in class and then is immediately transmitted to the student’s laptop.
  • Sign Language Interpreter: This will involve working with the interpreter to establish an appropriate place to interpret, and getting materials such as handouts and or complimentary books so they have an opportunity to study vocabulary used in class.
  • Note-taking Services:
  • Captioned Videos: Use videos that are closed captioned.  Be aware of how to turn on the closed captioning on equipment being used in the classroom.