Early Years (FD) and Hearing Impairments

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Brief description of Hearing Impairments and Auditory Difficulties

Students with hearing impairments may depend on their sight for communication e.g. speech reading, lip reading, British Sign Language (BSL) or a form of English using BSL vocabulary called Sign Supported English (SSE).

The DDA states that an ‘inability to hold a conversation with someone talking in a normal voice’ or an ‘inability to hear and understand another person speaking clearly over the voice telephone’ counts as a ‘substantial adverse’ effect under the Act.

When the consequences of someone’s deafness or hearing loss are being considered, the effect of background noise should be taken into account. Any attempts to treat or correct a person’s deafness or hearing loss are ignored for the purposes of the DDA. Importantly, this means that even if a person uses a hearing aid, his or her hearing without that equipment aid is what counts.

There are four types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss (affecting the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it). These hearing losses can range from mild to profound and they often affect the person’s ability to hear certain frequencies more than others.
  • A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
  • A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.

Learning Support (FD) and Hearing Impairments

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Brief description of Hearing Impairments and Auditory Difficulties

Students with hearing impairments may depend on their sight for communication e.g. speech reading, lip reading, British Sign Language (BSL) or a form of English using BSL vocabulary called Sign Supported English (SSE).

The DDA states that an ‘inability to hold a conversation with someone talking in a normal voice’ or an ‘inability to hear and understand another person speaking clearly over the voice telephone’ counts as a ‘substantial adverse’ effect under the Act.

When the consequences of someone’s deafness or hearing loss are being considered, the effect of background noise should be taken into account. Any attempts to treat or correct a person’s deafness or hearing loss are ignored for the purposes of the DDA. Importantly, this means that even if a person uses a hearing aid, his or her hearing without that equipment aid is what counts.

There are four types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss (affecting the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it). These hearing losses can range from mild to profound and they often affect the person’s ability to hear certain frequencies more than others.
  • A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
  • A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.

Education Studies and Hearing Impairments

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Brief description of Hearing Impairments and Auditory Difficulties

Students with hearing impairments may depend on their sight for communication e.g. speech reading, lip reading, British Sign Language (BSL) or a form of English using BSL vocabulary called Sign Supported English (SSE).

The DDA states that an ‘inability to hold a conversation with someone talking in a normal voice’ or an ‘inability to hear and understand another person speaking clearly over the voice telephone’ counts as a ‘substantial adverse’ effect under the Act.

When the consequences of someone’s deafness or hearing loss are being considered, the effect of background noise should be taken into account. Any attempts to treat or correct a person’s deafness or hearing loss are ignored for the purposes of the DDA. Importantly, this means that even if a person uses a hearing aid, his or her hearing without that equipment aid is what counts.

There are four types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss (affecting the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it). These hearing losses can range from mild to profound and they often affect the person’s ability to hear certain frequencies more than others.
  • A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
  • A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.

Sociology and Hearing Impairments

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Sociology and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

History and Hearing Impairments

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History and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

General Business and Management and Hearing Impairments

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General Business and Management and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

Manufacturing Management (FD) and Hearing Impairments

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Manufacturing Management and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

International Foundation Diploma and Hearing Impairments

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International Foundation Diploma and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

Psychology and Hearing Impairments

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Psychology and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

Biosciences and Hearing Impairments

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Biosciences and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

Geography and Hearing Impairments

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Geography and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

For further details concerning geography and students with hearing impairments see Wareham, T., Clark, G. and Turner, R. (2006), Developing an Inclusive Curriculum for Students with Hearing Impairments. The Geography Disciplines Network (GDN) Inclusive Curriculum Project (ICP) Guidelines, HEFCE Project, University of Gloucestershire, http://www2.glos.ac.uk/gdn/icp/ideaf.pdf<(accessed November 2006).

Hearing Impairments

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Brief description of Hearing Impairments and Auditory Difficulties

Students with hearing impairments may depend on their sight for communication e.g. speech reading, lip reading, British Sign Language (BSL) or a form of English using BSL vocabulary called Sign Supported English (SSE).

The DDA states that an ‘inability to hold a conversation with someone talking in a normal voice’ or an ‘inability to hear and understand another person speaking clearly over the voice telephone’ counts as a ‘substantial adverse’ effect under the Act.

When the consequences of someone’s deafness or hearing loss are being considered, the effect of background noise should be taken into account. Any attempts to treat or correct a person’s deafness or hearing loss are ignored for the purposes of the DDA. Importantly, this means that even if a person uses a hearing aid, his or her hearing without that equipment aid is what counts.

There are four types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss (affecting the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it). These hearing losses can range from mild to profound and they often affect the person’s ability to hear certain frequencies more than others.
  • A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
  • A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.

Detailed description of Hearing Impairments and Auditory Difficulties

For severely and profoundly deaf people, acquiring language is a different process from the way in which hearing people develop language. Usually language is acquired through plentiful exposure to meaningful linguistic interaction in early childhood. Severe deafness drastically reduces both the quantity and the quality of linguistic input available to the deaf person.

For a deaf student, English language development is rarely natural and automatic, but can be a laborious process with numerous obstacles and pitfalls.

For many prelingually deaf students (those born deaf), English is their second language and BSL is their first. However, unlike other students who do not have English as their first language, prelingually deaf students are physically unable to learn English the way a German or French native speaker learns English. They cannot be immersed in the language around them for they cannot hear it. In addition, since BSL is entirely visual, deaf students do not have a written or spoken language on which to base their second language learning.

Characteristics of Hearing Impairments Impacting on Learning and Teaching

For the deaf student who has English as a second language, it is not surprising if they are experiencing linguistic problems. Difficulties manifest themselves most obviously in written work, where mistakes may be found with sentence structure, verb tenses, word omissions, etc. To exacerbate the problem, carrier language is often hidden in fluent speech and therefore difficult to lip-read.

The lack of hearing and auditory memory means that students may be unable to rehearse what is put down on a page. Furthermore, BSL has a grammar and syntax that is quite different to that of spoken English, which can also confuse the student.

Research shows that the reading age of deaf students leaving school is below the national average, therefore it is likely that deaf people reaching Higher Education are already functioning at a relatively advanced level. However, reading can remain a laborious task for some deaf students, as their vocabulary can be considerably restricted in comparison with their hearing peers. Unfamiliar words, or words which have not been specifically introduced to the student, cannot be lip-read. Consequently, deaf students often have to research not only the technical jargon relating to the subject, but also language that is commonplace for hearing peers. An exceptional amount of time can be spent on reading and preparing assignments, often with the support of an individual language/learning support tutor.

In comparison to hearing students, the pathway to general knowledge may have been significantly blocked for the hearing impaired student. Hearing students absorb general knowledge through reading newspapers, listening to the TV or radio and holding discussions with other students. This incidental information often helps to form the opinions and develop the skills necessary for Higher Education. Yet, deaf students can be denied access to this whole wealth of general knowledge and life experience. The knock-on effect is often reflected in deaf student’s written work, which may be judged to be lacking in depth, containing immature and sometimes uninformed opinions and exhibiting problems with sequencing and overall structure.

Group work can be problematic for students with hearing impairments and a number of enabling strategies may need to be adopted by the rest of the group.

As an important component of many group activities is to devolve responsibility and control to students, tutors may be concerned that their scope for intervention and to take measures to include all students is necessarily compromised. To mitigate this, systems to encourage groups to take responsibility for the inclusion of all students need to be in place.

Tutors need to think carefully about the structure of their course, tutorial support, resources, staff development and learning environments, as replacing large lectures and seminars by more accessible resource based learning using small tutorial groups and computer based learning can reduce the need for communication support.

Providing lecture and course notes in advance can be a great help to the student and support worker, and providing these in electronic form may be the most flexible approach. Using visual aids (e.g. PowerPoint) can also help support the understanding of spoken information.

Characteristics of Auditory Difficulties Impacting on Learning and Teaching

Receiving Information During Lectures

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may need to lip-read, and if this is the case, then the lecturer’s face – of the face of any other speaker in the lecture theatre – needs to be visible.

Spot lighting may be needed for lip-reading (and sign language interpretation) when the room is darkened, e.g. for showing slides or video. Where students use the services of a lip-speaker or an interpreter, such educational support workers are likely to need short breaks during lectures. They may also need help with provision and positioning of seating.

Both student and signer or lip-speaker will derive great benefit from being given an outline of the lecture material beforehand. Signs for new terminology need to be devised in advance: signs for specialised vocabulary such as heterocyclic compounds or hermeneutics are not instantly available to signers. In general, it is helpful to supplement aural information with visual information for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Participating in Seminars/Tutorials

For students who lip-read, furniture might need to be rearranged so that the faces of everyone can be seen. A horse-shoe seating arrangement is helpful for this, ideally with none of the participants silhouetted against the light.

If a student with auditory difficulties is being excluded because of several people talking at once (which makes lip-reading impossible), the tutor could control the situation by passing a pencil or baton from person-to-person, with only the holder of the baton being allowed to speak. Prior notice of the topic and main ideas provides the context which is crucial for successful lip-reading. If the subject matter is not sufficiently structured to allow this, the main ideas could be recorded in a textual way as the seminar progresses.

Background noise can be amplified by hearing aids where room loops are not installed. Students might use equipment, such as radio aid systems, to get round the problem, and in these cases, speakers might be asked to wear a radio microphone, which is not a difficult request to comply with. Alternatively, a change of room to a quieter side of the building may help. Rooms with soft furnishings can also help as they reduce echo.

Work Placements, Study Abroad and Field Trips

Departments organising placements, field trips or study abroad for students with impairments will need to consider, ideally alongside the students themselves, the differences between the new context and environment and the more usual, and often more structured, context of study. Sometimes, the use of equipment, arrangements or personal assistance could, with a little planning, transfer to a different context. It will sometimes be necessary to identify additional items of equipment for specific purposes. For example, a sound monitor could be used as a visual indicator of classroom noise for a trainee tutor with auditory difficulties. The fact that funding may need to be found to purchase additional equipment for placements, field trips or study abroad, underlines the necessity to play and prepare long before the placement start date.

Students with impairments are positive assets on courses, where a reminder of the diversity of human experience is important. It can be instructive to be reminded of substantial gains for all students from organising placements in such a way that students with impairments are safely included, and not to think exclusively about problems.

Assessment

For students who have impairments of various kinds, the usual assessment format may need to be modified to achieve the assessment objectives. Clarity about the latter will be very helpful in determining acceptable modifications, which will be different for different types of assessment, or for different parts of the assessment, e.g. a student with auditory difficulties may have no additional difficulty in completing a written exam paper, but invigilators may need to provide oral information during the examination, e.g. about changes to the exam paper, in writing.

Achievements which are being assessed may be capable of being demonstrated in a variety of ways. Responses can be conveyed by a student using sign language, which can then be verbalised by an interpreter, and written by an amanuensis. For some students who are pre-lingually deaf, written English may be deaf English, i.e. in the word order of sign language, which is very different from the word order of English. If the subject of the assessment is what is understood rather than how this is expressed, then signed responses may be acceptable.

Many departments mark anonymously. Where students produce assignments in an alternative way, departments may have to consider whether the goals of anonymous marking can be achieved in some other way. If departments regard anonymous marking as a protection against marker bias, then it may be possible to achieve this end by some other way of monitoring standards in marking.

Hearing Impairments

For further information on hearing impairments, please see the following external links and references:

If you would like to recommend any links to be added to this page please email s.smith@worc.ac.uk


The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf: http://www.batod.org.uk/index.php

British Deaf Association: http://www.bda.org.uk/

Deaf Ex-Mainstreamers Group: http://www.dex.org.uk/

Deaf People’s Access to Nurse Education: http:¬† //jarmin.com/demos/resource/nurse/index.html

Providing Learning Support for d/Deaf Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities (Geography): http://www2.glos.ac.uk/gdn/disabil/index.htm

Royal National Institute for Deaf People: http://www.rnid.org.uk/index.htm

UK Health Professionals with Hearing Loss: http://www.hphl.org.uk/

Veterinary Science and Hearing Impairments

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Veterinary Science and Students with Hearing Impairments

Students with a wide range of disabilities or health conditions can achieve the required standards of knowledge and skills to enable them to practise as veterinary surgeons, but it needs to be recognised that each case is different and has to be viewed on its individual merits. The safety of patients, the public and other colleagues must always take priority.

Disabled veterinary science students can sometimes face difficulties gaining employment, especially those with visible or obvious disabilities, because employers often find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be healed and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent veterinary surgeon. The question often asked is whether the student will be able to provide safe and competent care, and in the case of a student with a hearing impairment applying to study veterinary science, could the student hear sounds indicating that an animal was in distress? The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled colleague.

There are numerous adjustments that can be made within the workplace and learning environment for students with hearing impairments. For example, providing the student with a vibrating pager in place of an audio one so that they know when they are needed or using amplified stethoscopes or similar equipment.

Students with hearing impairments may need to reposition monitors so that they can see flashing lights instead of listening for changes in bleeps. They may also need to check more frequently on animals and stay in closer proximity to them if possible.

Adjustments should be easily made if students are trained to work effectively in teams. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for survival in any busy, fast-paced workplace. All students will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.

Experience has shown that individuals with a hearing impairment are not necessarily ruled out for admission to the veterinary degree, as long as they have the appropriate coping strategies and make use of appropriate aids (e.g. cochlear implants and the use of amplified stethoscope). In such cases, admissions staff will need to have access to medical and other background information to inform their decision. Issues to be taken into account will include the individual’s ability to communicate with others, as well as their ability to cope in a range of practice and clinical-based contexts so as not to be a danger to themselves, colleagues, clients and animals.

Computing and Hearing Impairments

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Computing and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

 

English and Hearing Impairments

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English and Students with Hearing Impairments

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech. 

Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism and Hearing Impairments

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Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism and Students with Hearing Impairments

Practical / Sport Coaching – Sport and Exercise and Hearing Impairments

Generally individuals with auditory difficulties can participate in all sporting activities, however, activities such as swimming may have to be restricted if there is a middle-ear infection, a perforated ear-drum or a post-operative condition. Always remember that athletes who are deaf rely greatly on visual cues, therefore, adjust your methods of communication accordingly.

In all situations, it is necessary for the coach/tutor to endeavour to:

  • be as near to the student as possible (between four and six feet, 1.2m-1.8m should be adequate).
  • be still when speaking.
  • face the light so that his/her face is not in shadow.
  • avoid shouting, overemphasising words, chewing or covering the mouth whilst speaking. Normal rhythm and intonation should be used.
  • be at the same horizontal level as the student.
  • use visual cues to support instruction.
  • ensure that instructions precede activities and keep everyone involved by explaining any comments, questions or jokes made by group members.
  • check that all participants understand and are not just copying others.
  • attract the student’s attention by touch, vibration (e.g. by stamping on the ground) or by a visual sign such as waving a hand in his or her line of sight.
  • being patient if the student is experiencing difficulty understanding, remember it is more frustrating for the student than for the person trying to be understood.

It should be remembered that normal warning signs (such as alarms) may not be heard, therefore, the coach/tutor should devise warning signals that students with auditory difficulties can recognise and to which they will know how to respond. Another individual could be used to act as a buddy. Peripatetic teachers of the deaf can be a valuable course of help.

This information is taken from the Staffordshire University Strand 2 project SIDE-STeP (Staffordshire Inclusive Disability Education – Sport TEaching Practice) http://crwnpro2.staffs.ac.uk/sidestep/

 

 

Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Hearing Impairments

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Brief description of hearing impairment

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

Music and Hearing Impairments

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Brief description of hearing impairment

The auditory sense is provided by our hearing. Impairments in hearing may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech.

Nursing and Hearing Impairments

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Nursing and Students with Hearing Impairments

Disabled student nurses can face difficulties gaining employment, especially those with visible or obvious disabilities, because employers often find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be ‘healed’ and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent health care professional. The question often asked is whether a disabled nurse can provide safe and competent care, and in the case of a student with a hearing impairment applying to study nursing, could the student nurse hear a patient calling for assistance? The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled nurse.

There are numerous adjustments that can be made within a workplace for student nurses with hearing impairments. For example, providing the student with a vibrating pager in place of an audio one so that they know when they are needed or using amplified stethoscopes or similar equipment.

Students with hearing impairments may need to reposition monitors so that they can see flashing lights instead of listening for changes in bleeps. They may also need to check more frequently on patients and stay in closer proximity when speaking to them.

Adjustments should be easily made if students are trained to work effectively in teams. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for any nurse’s survival in a busy, fast-paced workplace. All students will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.

Nurses with hearing impairments are likely to have special skills to bring to the team, such as the ability to lip-read or communicate with patients using Sign Language. Such students may find it easier to communicate with patients who have speech difficulties or, for example, have a tracheotomy tube in their windpipe.

 

Physiotherapy and Hearing Impairments

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Physiotherapy and Students with Hearing Impairments

Deaf and hard of hearing people choose to communicate in different ways depending on their level of deafness. Some may use lip reading and/or a hearing aid whilst others may use British Sign Language (BSL) as their preferred mode of communication.

The DDA states that an ‘inability to hold a conversation with someone talking in a normal voice’ or an ‘inability to hear and understand another person speaking clearly over the voice telephone’ counts as a ‘substantial adverse’ effect under the Act.

When the consequences of someone’s deafness or hearing loss are being considered, the effect of background noise should be taken into account. Any attempts to treat or correct a person’s deafness or hearing loss are ignored for the purposes of the DDA. Importantly, this means that even if a person uses a hearing aid, his or her hearing without that equipment aid is what counts.

Every deaf student will have his or her own specific communication methods and it is therefore important that the Clinical Educator asks the individual student what kind of support s/he would find most helpful. Different situations will require different strategies to increase a student’s access to information. It is recommended that at the end of the student’s first week on placement, the Clinical Educator should timetable a brief review to assess how effective and appropriate the strategies have been. Further changes may need to be negotiated as the placement progresses. A flexible approach is essential.

 

Social Work and Hearing Impairments

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Social Work and Students with Hearing Impairments

Disabled student social workers can face difficulties gaining employment, because employers often find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be healed and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent professional. The question often asked is whether a disabled social worker can provide safe and competent care, and in the case of a student with a hearing impairment applying to study social work, can the student communicate effectively with their clients in sometimes challenging situations? The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled colleague.

There are numerous adjustments that can be made within a learning environment for students with hearing impairments. For example, providing the student with a vibrating pager in place of an audio one so that they know when they are needed or using amplified communication equipment, or a sign language interpreter for communication.

Adjustments should be easily made if students are trained to work effectively in teams. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for survival in a busy, fast-paced workplace. All students will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.

Social workers with hearing impairments are likely to have special skills to bring to the team, such as the ability to lip-read or communicate with clients who use Sign Language. Such students may also find it easier to communicate with clients who have speech difficulties.