Communication Considerations

Recommended Practices

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by Harold Johnson, Ed.D., Michigan State University

  1. What are “Recommended Practices”?
    1. “Recommended Practices” represents an effort by the Association of College Educators – Deaf/Hard of Hearing (ACE-D/HH) to identify, describe and share “what works” to enhance the academic performance of students who are deaf/hard of hearing (d/hh). 
  2. What issues are at the forefront of the Recommended Practices effort?
    1. Problems:
      1. The major problem of deafness is not a lack of hearing, but an abundance of isolation, i.e., isolation from peers, meaningful learning opportunities and the expectation for academic success.  This isolation is experienced by children who are d/hh, their parents and teachers. 
      2. The major problem of deaf education is not a lack of effort, or innovation, but too much difficulty in finding needed resources and sharing “what works.”
    1. Solutions:
      1. Establish an online community of learners to reduce isolation, recognize excellence and foster collaboration.
      2. Use the online community of learners to identify, describe, share and collect empirical evidence concerning “what works” (i.e., “Recommended Practices”) to enhance the academic performance of students who are d/hh. 
  1. What should every parent or professional know about the recommended instructional practices for students who are deaf/hard of hearing?
    1. Most parents and professionals are poorly informed concerning the existing professional literature regarding “what works” to enhance the academic performance of children who are d/hh. 
    2. While parents and professionals share a common goal of improving children’s academic performance, they lack a common “vocabulary” to discuss this goal. 
    3. The list of “Recommended Practices” (i.e., “what works”) provides parents and professionals with a common vocabulary they can use to accomplish their common goal.   
    4. Parents and professionals effective discussion of the “Recommended Practices,” combined with linking “learning with living,” has the potential to not only improve children’s academic performance, but also prepare them for life outside of school, a life in which the collaborative application of academic knowledge to address increasing complex problems is the requisite skill for success. 
  2. Where else can I find information about recommended instructional practices? 
    1. ACE-D/HH Web Site:
    2. Online Community of Learners:
      1. Deaf Education Web Site:
        1. *Recommended Practices for Deaf Education:
        2. *General Education – Key Information Concerning Students who are d/hh:
        3. *Deaf Education Professional Preparation – Key Content Information:

          *Note: you must first register with the Deaf Education Web site before you can access this information
    1. 21st Century Learners:
    2. How People Learn:
      1. Brain, Mind Experience and School:
      2. Bridging Research & Practice:


* 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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