Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

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Summary In this chapter, the author is proving the importance of communication with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Communication is very challenging and may be frustrating for both the hearing impaired and/or the communicator; therefore, it is significant for educators and the public to be apprehensive about the communication approaches of each classification of hearing loss. There are three types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and central auditory dysfunction. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves through the outer ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by problems with the auditory nerve or central processing centres of the brain. Central auditory dysfunction is the inability to correctly interpret some sounds through the auditory nerve. With the three types of hearing loss, there are also four classifications and five degrees of hearing loss. To classify an individual’s hearing loss, there are: site of loss, if the hearing loss is conductive, sensorineural or both; age of onset, when the lingual issues occurred; etiology is the hearing loss is congenital or adventitious; and severity is the sharpness of hearing in decibel (dB) rating. At 0 dB, a person can hear the distinct sounds – mild to profound (deaf). Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate in various ways; thus, an educator must comprehend and differentiate communication approaches and supports. The approaches are oral, manual, and combination. One who is deaf or hard of hearing learns through oral approaches and learns by auditory, visual, and tactile. A form of an oral approach is speechreading – when a person observes the speaker’s movement in the face, lips, body and hands. Auditory training is a process whereby the hearing impaired learns how to listen rather than learning how to hear.

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