Communication Considerations A to Z™


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1. What are the communication considerations in education?

All students need full access to all classroom communication and instruction. For children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) this situation needs careful attention because communication access can be compromised by poor classroom acoustics, inadequate lighting, teachers who have difficulty projecting their voices, children with little voices, and other classroom noise sources such as fish tanks, pencil sharpeners, overhead projectors, and ventilations systems. For children using sign language, an added barrier occurs if the sign language interpreter is not adequately skilled to fully interpret the instruction and dialogue within the classroom. Since young children’s language skills are not fully developed, they have more difficulty filling in words and information that are not heard, missed or are left out. These gaps start an adverse cycle that impacts comprehension, attention, general knowledge, behavior and ultimately academic performance.

2. What issues are at the forefront of education for students who are DHH?

There are several; most urgent are that DHH children and youth have:

What questions should every parent and professional ask about education for DHH?

Where can I go for more information on education?


AUTHOR: Cheryl DeConde Johnson, EdD, was formerly a special education consultant with the Colorado Department of Education where she was responsible for deaf education and audiology services. Prior to her state service, she spent 22 years in the Greeley, Colorado school district as an educational audiologist and program administrator for the deaf and hard of hearing program. Cheryl is currently providing technical assistance, training, and program evaluations via her consulting practice, The ADVantage (Audiology, Deaf education, Vantage), as well as continues her research, writing, and teaching at several graduate programs in deaf education and audiology. She also serves as the President of the Hands & Voices Board of Directors. Cheryl has a grown daughter who describes herself as sometimes deaf, sometimes hard of hearing.



* Communication Considerations A to Z™ is a series from Hands & Voices that's designed to help families and the professionals working with them access information and further resources to assist them in raising and educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  We've recruited some of the best in the business to share their insights on the many diverse considerations that play into communication modes & methods, and so many other variables that are part of informed decision making.  We hope you find the time to read them all!

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