Hearing Impairments

A hearing impairment can range from profound (deaf) to moderate or mild (hard of hearing). To communicate, students with a hearing impairment may use a variety of communication methods including hearing aids, lip reading, an FM system, sign language, interpreters, and/or Real Time captioning.


If the student uses an interpreter, speak directly to the student, not the interpreter.


E-mail is an effective system for getting messages and changes in procedures to students. A telecommunication device (TDD/TTY) can also be used for communicating.

Lip Reading

If the student reads lips make sure you face the student when you speak and speak naturally and clearly. It is not helpful to raise your voice or exaggerate your speech or facial expressions. Repeat questions and comments made by other participants.

Overhead Projectors

Overhead projectors provide visual backup and allow presenters to face the audience when speaking.

Video Materials

Check to see that any videos used in your class or program are closed captioned (usually indicated by a CC on the tape jacket). Most campus VCRs have closed caption capability.

Written Materials

Whenever possible provide a written script or outline of lectures/presentations and key vocabulary in advance.

A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf ("TDD") and phonic ear (voice amplifier) are available at Disabilities Services. Disabilities Services also arranges for interpreters, captioners, and note takers.