Communication is key for success

Veterans are known for making sure they understand the command and the mission. For student veterans with hearing loss, clear understanding in the classroom may require additional support and repetition.It is important to repeat questions asked by other students to ensure that all students hear the question and to have only one person speak at a time.Be aware that small group work can feel overwhelming because of the immediate need to interact with others, understand each group member, and follow multiple conversations.

Ask the student in private for ways to improve classroom communication and his/her preference for group work.

Points to Consider

  • As mentioned in “seating selection is more than a chair”, where a student veteran sits within the classroom can vary and can be highly dependent on many factors including hearing loss and other disabilities.
  • Based on where the student veteran sits in the classroom may limit their ability to hear questions asked from other sections of the class.
    • For example, a student with hearing loss sitting in the front row to use lip-reading may not be able to hear the question asked by a peer from the back row of the class. 
    • Repeating the question to the whole class before responding allows all students to follow the statements made after the question and why they were given.
  • Small group work can be a common task, but often during small group work multiple people speak at one time. 
    • For the student using lip-reading or without a hearing aid may miss information stated by others in the group that they may not be looking at as well as if the speaker is sitting on the side of the ear in which they have hearing loss. 
  • Small group work can be anxiety provoking because of the way in which communication, ways to diminish communication concerns in group work are to
    • Encourage that only one person speaks at a time
    • Ensure that there is a note taker in each group
    • Giving time for everyone to copy down the notes before the end of class 
  • With hearing loss, sometimes people need information repeated more than once or even twice. By the third time of asking for someone to repeat themselves, the speaker may become annoyed. 
    • Some people with hearing loss disengage because they do not want to ask for information to repeated too many times, causing them to miss information. 
    • Be aware of students who are disengaging during group work and follow up with them to clarify if there are barriers to communication that may be impacting their learning in this format.
  • Some hearing loss can impact the listeners ability to hear certain tones, certain voice pitches or accents can be more difficult for some people. 
    • Do not take offense if someone with hearing loss states that they do not understand you, instead ask them which form of communication would work best for them.

Online Considerations

  • It is extremely important to have captioning on ALL audio material within the course (to include recorded lectures) regardless to whether someone has put in the accommodation request or not
    • Captioning resources can be found under the “Resource” tab
  • Work with your institution’s Disability Office or 504/ADA Coordinator to find out the specific resources on your campus that support ADA/504 compliance online courses
  • The online class “shell” needs to be consistent and well organized to communicate the requirements for class, to include how access disability services, request accommodations and for audio components of the course how to turn on close-captioning or live-captioning