Itinerant Tools & Treasures: Accommodations

Hearing & Communication Technologies

Communication Tips

Copies of Presentation Materials and/or Notes: It is tremendously helpful for a student with hearing loss to receive a copy of the presentation materials prior to any instruction, especially lecture. The student will have to visually attend to the teacher's face, presentation and possibly a service provider. This prevents the student from being able to look away and reference materials or write notes. If they look away during instruction they will miss the spoken content.

Notetaking: This is a very common accommodation for a student with hearing loss as they often are unable to independently take notes while maintaining their eyes on the teacher's face, presentation content as well as their service provider translating auditory information into visual information, such as an interpreter or captionist. At the early grades, often carbon paper is used to provide the student with a copy on paper. At upper grades, computers are more regularly used and a file with notes can be shared with the student and teachers. It is important that both the classroom teachers and the itinerant teacher gets a copy of any notes taken to ensure all the important concepts were captured.

Captioning: There are a variety of accommodations that could be provided based on the type of captioning needed by a student.
  • Captioned Media: The provision of media which includes captions provides a student with access to the auditory information in the media. Be wary of using online, automatic captioning services. These regularly produce significant errors, including the inclusion of profanity. it is best to preview any online media which has captioning provided.
  • Captioning Services: Having a captionist provide captioning in real-time is an option for students who have the appropriate reading level and advocacy skills. These services can be provided with a person performing the work within the classroom, or a remote captionist can be hired through an agency. Often the transcript is then provided to the teacher to review and/or distribute to the student(s) for review/study. Because a student watching captioning across the screen is accessing all information through that medium, they are unable to look away to take their own notes.
  • Captioning Services are described based on the type of technology used and can be CART (like court reporting), C-Print, or Typewell. The captionist needs to be trained to provide this service.

Interpreting: This service may be provided to students in need of an oral or sign language interpreter. Currently, Florida does not have licensure for interpreters. There is a national organization that provides certification to interpreters and a Florida Discretionary Project and Association that provides professional development for interpreters. It is critical that the person hired to provide this IEP Accommodation has the skills and qualifications necessary for the student to have access to the content and all communication. In addition to the qualifications of the interpreter, the student needs to develop skills in utilizing this resource.

Using an Interpreter

ClassAct was developed to support instructors and staff who work with deaf and hard of hearing students in all mainstreamed academic environments. The core of the site focuses on teaching challenges and strategies, but you will also find information to support communication strategies, support services and the classroom environment. The goal of the ClassAct site is to improve existing teaching practice by providing access to instruction for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in mainstream classes.

Safety and Independent Living
  • Videophones
  • Captioning phones
  • Alerts