Deaf and hard of hearing students use a variety of techniques when communicating with others. Some students may use a combination of methods to receive information. For example, they may use an assistive listening device and CART, speech-to-text transcription.
Some students use hearing aids in combination with speechreading skills. It is important to note that even the most highly skilled speechreaders usually comprehend only about 30% of what is said. They use contextual cues to fill in the rest. Students who rely on speechreading frequently miss comments from other class members and have difficulty understanding instructors who cover their lips, face the board, or move around the classroom.
People who use hearing aids usually do not hear sounds as others do. Hearing aids amplify all sounds including background noises. This can be overwhelming to hearing aid users.
A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that is surgically implanted to provide a sense of sounds to a person with hearing loss. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by the way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin. Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn or relearn. However, it allows many people to recognize warning signals or understand other sounds in the environment and can sometimes assist in understanding conversations with others.
For students who utilize sign language as a means to communicate, an interpreter may be necessary to convey spoken speech to the deaf student. An interpreter’s role is to provide communication access between a deaf student and hearing person who does not use sign language. The interpreter signs what is being spoken, and voices what is being signed.
Some students, primarily those who do not use sign language, will use speech-to-text services to display spoken words in text format. A remote CART service provider is used to provide this accommodation for eligible S&T students. A microphone and internet are used to send the instructor’s speech to the transcriber. The transcriber’s transcript is sent back to the student who reads the transcript in real-time on a tablet or laptop.
Some deaf students may need to have instructor’s speech amplified by an assistive listening device. A microphone that is compatible with the student’s hearing aids is used to provide access to the lecture. Students will either have their own ALD or use one provided by Student Accessibility and Testing.
Most students who are deaf or hard of hearing depend on their vision to speechread, watch an interpreter, or read a live transcript. Although there are some unique strategies based on the method of communication used, the guidelines below can promote effective communication, no matter what method is used.
Please contact Student Accessibility and Testing, (573) 341-6655 or email@example.com with any questions.