Tools for Including Hearing Impaired Students in Classes and Lectures

There is an unfortunate trend in classrooms today that leaves certain students falling behind and feeling left out. Often classrooms are unequipped to accommodate students that are deaf or hearing impaired. This means that these students in particular are left struggling to keep up. It can be incredibly easy for them to fall behind due to the inability to hear the lecture or lesson points of the teacher properly, which is unfair to them.

In years past, solving this problem would almost always require dedicated teaching methods specialized to help the student along. These teaching methods, while effective, can be rather costly and can leave the student feeling isolated or ‘left out’ of the regular class activities.

Now, we have special technologies available that can actually make the lives of deaf and hearing impaired students far easier in the classroom. Through modern technologies, we can make the classroom experience for these students smoother, with less need for dedicated isolating teaching methods.

Let’s take a look at some of the best tools available for hearing impaired students in the classroom.

The Most Common Teaching Methods.

Nearly 3 out of every 1,000 children are hearing impaired to some capacity. This means that every school, at some point, must learn to accommodate hearing impaired students. This has brought about no small amount of innovation, and ingenuity to help include these children in classes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common methods.

Hearing Enhancement Systems.

Hearing enhancement systems are rather common in classrooms for hearing impaired students. These are systems that transmit audio directly to an earpiece worn by the student and enhances audio being spoken by the teacher. These systems are similar to hearing aids, however many of these systems only enhance the audio of the teacher’s voice. This helps cut down on added background noise and targets the important information being conveyed by the teacher during the lecture or class.

The most common methods of hearing enhancement are FM systems, and infrared systems.

There are other systems available to enhance audio, however these two are usually the most cost effective and common. They work by using an FM radio system, or infrared light system to transmit audio directly into an earpiece worn by the student. This system is incredibly useful, however they can be costly and prone to technical failure.

– Visual Aids.

In the absence of hearing enhancement systems, some classrooms might utilize visual aids to increase learning ability for hearing impaired students. There are many different ways that a teacher may be able to provide visual aid for their hearing impaired students. Some teachers might utilize slides, and illustrations throughout lectures to provide bullet points of information for their students. Some classrooms may even be able to have a sign language interpreter. However, slides and bullet points tend to not allow the student to get the full amount information needed. And sign language interpreters can be very difficult to find.

Another method of visual aid is utilization of technologies in the classroom such as tablets, TV’s and computers. These systems involve software that is designed to convey the lesson to the student through closed captions, or lesson transcriptions. These visual aid methods can be far more effective in conveying lessons to the students than hearing enhancement systems. Perhaps the most useful, and cost effective of these methods is live transcription services.

Let’s explore live transcription in the classroom a bit more.

– Live transcription in the classroom.

One of the most cost effective, and efficient ways to enhance learning in the classroom for hearing impaired students, is live transcription.

Live transcription is a tool that can work on any mobile or smart device, that transcribes the lesson being spoken by the teacher in real-time.

This means that the student will be able to read the lesson as it is happening. This allows the student to remain informed on what is being discussed, and engaged in the class discussion more easily.

In addition, transcription services are usually far more cost efficient than most of the teaching methods mentioned above. This is mainly due to the ease of availability when it comes to transcription services.

This day and age, you can simply download the service on your phone or tablet and get started instantly! It is astounding how easy it is for classrooms to implement live transcription into their class.

The benefits don’t stop there.

Some of the additional benefits of transcription services include:

– They allow students to take the transcription home with them. This can help with their studying, group projects, and lecture referencing for class assignments.

– They make it easier for students to search and reference certain information that was conveyed in the class. It can be difficult for hearing impaired students to take notes of lectures or classes for reference. Transcription services make that possible.

– They’re versatile and portable. A classroom does not have to be specially equipped to handle transcription services. There is no costly equipment, or specialized devices needed. A phone, tablet, or computer will work just fine.

In short – when everything is taken into consideration – modern transcription technology and services could be the saving grace of in-class assistance for hearing impaired students.

Final Thoughts.

No student deserves to be left behind due to something they cannot control.

In years past, students who were deaf or hearing impaired were forced to work harder to stay on pace with their peers.

Luckily, modern technology has made it easy for these students to maintain a level field of learning among their classmates without any real hindrances.

Transcription services have quickly found their way into many classrooms already, and continue to grow in popularity. They can help increase information retention, improve classroom engagement, and remove the physical barriers that hearing impaired students face every day.

That in itself is pretty awesome.

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