FAQ TEACHING DEAF and HARD OF HEARING STUDENTS
What do I do if . . .
. . . I want to get the attention of the class to begin?
- Follow your usual routine for getting students’ attention.
- Flash the lights in the room to let them know you are ready to start.
. . . I want to get the attention of one deaf student?
- If the student isn't watching the interpreter or captioning, approach the student.
- Call the student by name. The interpreter or realtime captioner will convey your comments to the
. . . the interpreter or captioner doesn't show up for class or is late?
- Make your lecture as “visual” as possible, i.e. use the board, document camera or other visual
- Inform the student that you will begin your lecture, and the student should use the backup plan
he/she discussed with DSS.
- Provide the deaf or hard of hearing student with a copy of the day’s lecture notes to
help follow along. The student may decide not to stay in class if the interpreter or realtime captioner
is not there.
- Feel free to write notes to communicate with the student. Communication is the important thing!
. . . I want to be sure the deaf or hard or hearing students
understand what I’m saying?
- Do whatever you do to find out if other students understand the material.
- Ask questions.
- Remember that the interpreter will voice the student’s answers or responses to you.
. . . I am in the habit of moving around while I teach?
- When using an interpreter, it’s best to stand in one place unless it is necessary for you to move around while demonstrating something.
…I know a few signs. Should I use them when appropriate
or let the interpreter do all the signing?
- Use your signs before or after class or during breaks.
- Let the interpreter do the interpreting during class time. Your signing would
cause the deaf students to shift their attention to you and away from the interpreter.
What do I do about . . .
. . . my regular or normal vocabulary when teaching deaf
or hard of hearing students?
- Use the same vocabulary you would use in any class.
- If there is specialized vocabulary in your subject, it is a good idea to give the interpreter or captioner a list before class.
. . . my speed of talking when I use an interpreter or captioner?
- Speak at your usual pace. The interpreter/captioner will let you know if they need the pace
- It is possible to speak too slowly. You and the interpreter/captioner will need to work
out the best speed for both of you.
Will the interpreter or captioner be in the class . .
. . . on test days?
- They may come for the beginning of the class period to interpret directions, corrections or
additions to the test and then may leave, after first checking with the student and you.
- If you will be making additional comments during the test time, the interpreter/captioner will
- If you make a correction during an exam and the interpreter/captioner is not there, write the information on the board and draw the student’s attention to the board.
. . . for field trips and special speakers?
- Interpreters and captioners are provided for all class related activities, including field trips
and special speakers.
- If the location of the class is changed because of a special speaker, contact DSS, so the interpreter/captioner can be directed to the right place.
What if the student . . .
. . . is not in class?
- If the student notified DSS of the absence before the class and the interpreter/
captioner can be reached, they will not be in class.
- If DSS was not contacted by the student about an absence, the interpreter will remain in the classroom for 15
minutes before leaving. The captioner may or may not leave, depending on whether the captioner
thinks packing up the equipment and leaving would be disruptive.