DEFINITION OF HEARING IMPAIRMENT:

Hearing impairment, or hearing loss, occurs when you lose part or all of your ability to hear. Hearing impairments are classified based on the severity and type of hearing impairment.Therefore The severity of hearing impairment can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound.

Types of hearing loss

There are three types of hearing loss — sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear nerves and hair cells are damaged , perhaps due to age, noise damage or something else.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear — perhaps due to fluid, tumors, earwax or even ear formation. This obstruction prevents sound from getting to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated surgically or with medicine.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is just what it sounds like — a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

The classroom environment itself can also determine the success of a deaf student’s learning abilities, and some options for deaf education include:

  • Day schools
  • Early intervention and preschool programs
  • Residential schools for the deaf
  • Self-contained classrooms
  • Mainstreaming and inclusion in general education settings
  • Home school environment

Many opportunities exist for deaf education training and certification, and an educator’s responsibility is to be prepared for his or her students’ individual needs. For teachers of students with hearing loss, the right adjustments to the classroom environment coupled with advanced teaching methods can mean the difference between a student’s success and failure.

The environment and basic methods selected for students with a hearing loss should be chosen based on the student’s personality and individual needs, but each factor should incorporate the student’s capabilities to reach the highest level of success. Modern techniques for students with a hearing loss include:

  • Proper Classroom Considerations: Students with hearing loss require a modified classroom, which should incorporate well-designed acoustics (for maximum sound production), little distractive noise, and proper lighting for visuals. Each student should have a clear view of all visuals as well as the instructor.
  • Use of an Interpreter: Many classrooms with deaf students who sign incorporate an interpreter for easier translation of material. Deaf students, who have grown up with sign language, should have sign language included in their daily educational life.
  • Assistive Technical Capabilities: Years of research and development have provided educators with wonderful tools for maximizing auditory abilities for those students with some degree of hearing including:
    • FM Systems which can project sound from an instructor’s microphone
    • C-Print which is a speech-to-text computer system
    • A speech synthesizer which converts a typed word into speech format
    • Personal amplification systems

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