To make it easier to explain hearing loss in the classroom, Phonak has created two free Power Point presentations to help teens and children explain their hearing loss and technology to their peers and teachers.
Creating hearing loss awareness can eliminate confusion, misconceptions, and stereotypes about what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing. These presentations are perfect for answering three important questions: What is hearing loss? What are hearing aids? How can you accommodate a child with hearing loss?
First and foremost, it is important to explain what exactly hearing loss is. The presentation goes over the different types of hearing loss. This includes whether it is conductive or sensorineural, and examples of why hearing loss might occur. They also explain the difference between unilateral hearing loss and bilateral hearing loss.
There is a sample audiogram that shows pitches of common sounds such as birds, a dog barking, and an airplane.
Going over the sounds can help peers understand that hearing loss doesn’t mean you can’t hear anything, a person with hearing loss may still be able to hear certain sounds.
As hearing aids and Phonak Roger system are the most visible to other students, it is important to explain how they work and why they make a difference for the student using them.
The slides explain that hearing aids are similar to glasses, but for ears. A great comparison to help students understand what hearing aids are is to compare them to glasses. Just as glasses help people see, hearing aids help people hear.
The Phonak Roger provides even more hearing support. The other students in the classroom will see their teacher wearing the Roger microphone, so it helps if they know what the microphone is doing. The presentation helps explain that the microphone helps the student with hearing loss hear the teacher regardless of how far away the teacher is in the classroom.
Last, but not least, the presentations include accommodation and communication tips for students and teachers to use.
It is crucial for everyone at school to know that hearing loss doesn’t make a person different from anyone else. Most kids don’t want to be defined by their hearing loss, but they still need people to be aware of their accommodations and communication needs.
Moving away from noisy areas, tapping the student with hearing loss on their shoulder to get their attention, and being sure that your mouth is visible while talking can make communication easier for a student with hearing loss.
The presentation ends with a slide asking for any questions. Giving the chance for other students to ask questions can stop some assumptions from being made and can create a safe space in the classroom to understand differences.