Contrary to popular media, this disability is not a high prevalence one. Deafness and hard of hearing is a low-prevalence disability, with only 0.10% of students aged 6-21 identifying as deaf or hard of hearing (Hallahan, Kaufman, & Pullen, 2015, p. 264). It is more common to see students with communication disorders and learning disorders that need treatment in the classroom than it is to see students with hearing impairment. Hearing loss is diagnosed in three ways. At the beginning of life, babies and young children are screened for hearing loss using computers to measure the performance of the cochlea. This measure catches many cases of hearing loss, though some do fall through the cracks, and yet hearing loss may occur as time passes. I...
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... use assistive technology to help them be successful in the classroom. They may use microphones to amplify teacher and student discussion and conversation, they may use a video-relay system, or a computer assisted instruction program (Hallahan, Kaufman, & Pullen, 2015, p.282-283). With these technologies, it is important for teachers to remember that many of these devices relay information to students with a delay. Teachers should adequately pace themselves and take some time to become familiar with such technology. No matter the adaptations, it is the teachers job to make sure the student with the disability is a welcome and valued addition to the class, and treat him or her with the same respect and dignity as a non-disabled student. Schools can do a lot for deaf and hard of hearing students. However, students also need adequate family support in order to do well.
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