Hearing loss and tinnitus are the two most commonly acquired disabilities from military service. Hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by numerous environmental factors, such as loud noises (gun fire, airplanes etc) as well as blasts or explosions. Hearing loss and tinnitus can be acquired without deploying, hence the prevalence rates. Military personnel may not experience the full impacts of their hearing loss or tinnitus until separation from service.
Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation New Dawn (OND) are twice as likely to have a disability and four times as likely to have hearing loss than their non-veteran peers. While veterans of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) may not be exposed to as many combat tours as those from OEF/OIF/OND, but all four generations of veterans are experiencing service-related hearing loss and tinnitus at significant rates.
DeafTEC, a National Science Foundation-funded Center of Excellence, acknowledge the need to support student veterans with hearing loss and developed Project Good to Go (PG2G) in 2017. PG2G is an interdisciplinary team of educators with diverse specialty backgrounds. PG2G worked directly with student veterans to understand their experiences in the classroom and on campus as related to their service-connected hearing loss and tinnitus. Through the research process PG2G created the Top Ten Things Student Veterans Would Like Faculty to Know handout and professional development.
The professional development aims to support faculty, staff and administration through universal design practices to address hearing loss and tinnitus. In addition, PG2G aims to increase campus awareness of the impacts of military culture and disabilities on the student veteran: learning experience, adjustment to campus and classroom environments and interpersonal relationships.
PG2G recommends Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) practices, which is an approach that provides equal access to learning for all students by designing course instruction, materials, and content that benefit students of all learning styles.
To learn more about the:
- Top Ten Things Student Veterans Would Like Faculty to Know, please visit the Top Ten tab
- Data collected throughout PG2G, please visit the Data tab
- Resources that PG2G has gathered to further support student veterans, faculty, staff and administrators, please visit the Resource tab
- Presentations which are free professional development that can be offered in person or in webinar form for conferences or campuses, please visit the Presentation tab
- Team and the various specialty areas, please visit the Team tab
- DeafTEC which is an Advanced Technological Education Center (ATE Center) that supports students with hearing loss in the K-12 and post-secondary settings, please visit the DeafTEC tab
The work of PG2G is the result of student veteran participation in focus groups conducted at California Community Colleges with support from DeafTEC.