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Hearing Impairment: Awareness of the Deaf Child in the Classroom

At nine, I lost my hearing in one ear. I've been educated to MA level in classrooms where everyone else could hear. How possible could that have been today? According to the Topic Editor from the Write My Essay SOS magazine, as more education research is completed and teaching models become more refined, the classroom blossoms into a vibrant learning environment. Instead of the staid, old teacher talking and pupils listening strategy, there are now hundreds of alternative ways in which to engage the children. Interactive aids, buzz groups, class discussions, presentations, pairing people for joint research, the list appears endless. But, unless there is sound classroom management, all of this becomes so much noise and alienation for the partially deaf child.
All it takes is an awareness and tweaked teaching techniques, for the hearing impaired pupil to become integrated again. Hard of hearing myself, I aim to provide an insight into the experience of a deaf child in the classroom.

How Hearing Loss Occurred and a Deafness Disclaimer.

When I was nine years old, I dived into a swimming pool and came out partially deaf. There was probably more to it, involving an inherited condition, the rotting of my cochlear and the two weeks that I spent feeling like there was water stuck in my ear. But those are the main details. I'm used to it now; so much so that stereo hearing presents itself as some kind of unverifiable urban truth, like Big Foot or the chemical make up of the planet Jupiter. I assume that stereo must be true, because there's so much empirical evidence, but it's not something that I will personally experience any time soon.
My right ear is as deaf as the proverbial doorpost. My left ear is perfectly fine. The audiologist stated that neither hearing aids nor any other devices would be able to improve my hearing. Deafness affects people in different ways, both in physical range and psychologically, thus a description of my world can only be used as a single example. It shouldn't be read as a blueprint for every deaf person, even those with my exact hearing impairment. Each partially deaf child should be asked about their personal hearing abilities.

Partially Deaf: How the World Sounds to Me.

All sound is received through one hearing channel. It has neither depth nor direction; and I cannot easily tell one sound from another, especially when they're similar. Anyone speaking in a room where a television is on instantly deafens me. I cannot tell one voice from the other. Moreover, the sound becomes confusing and, if prolonged, impossible to think through. This has obvious implications for such teaching techniques as buzz groups, where more than one voice may be simultaneously heard in the classroom.
Many people think that speaking more loudly will fix my ability to hear them. That just makes matters worse. I can distinguish volume, though it is fair to say that I turn the music up higher than the hearing members of my family. In reality, I avoid watching television with anyone else in the room. Most of the time, programs are enjoyed on the computer, where I may use headphones. This cuts out any extra sound, like people taking notes, fidgeting in their chairs, walking around or discussing items of interest. All of these things reduce my ability to hear the television, often right down to zero. In a learning environment, my teachers switched on the subtitles, which solved the problem.
Another aspect for awareness is my inability to determine the direction of the sound. A vehicle passing along the street outside is quiet, then loud, then quiet. I can reason out that it's moving, but I could only confirm that visually. It is unlike stereo hearing, wherein my friends assure me they could tell precisely where that vehicle is.
A teacher moving around an environment may call the class to attention. There should be a pause to ensure the hard of hearing has eye-contact, before anything important is imparted. I have missed whole sentences, because I was too busy trying to locate the person speaking. It is a distraction which could be avoided with a pause.

Partially Deaf: How the Learning/Teaching Environment Can Deaden Sound.

Literature teacher from an online paper writing service says, that sometimes it's not the other students, but the shape or construction of the classroom that becomes an issue. Most partially deaf people will naturally sit where they are more likely to hear. I tend to position myself near to a right-hand wall, as that allows my left ear to be pointed towards the entire interior. If I was at the other end, then the left-hand wall would render me completely deaf. Teachers can help children experiment to find the optimum hearing places for themselves too.
Yet even those experienced in these seating arrangements can be surprised. I once worked in a small office, where my partial deafness was rarely even noticed. It was quiet enough that issues didn't arise, until we decided to rearrange the furniture to create more space. This was an L shaped room, where my desk was in the small section at the bottom. It didn't take long for us to realize that I couldn't hear anyone, not even a colleague a few feet away.
Fortunately, this occurred at a university, with a vibrant Deaf Studies department. The Dean of the School was called in to find out why. He took one look at the ceiling and declared that he had found the culprit. In this section of the office, the ceiling was cork and higher than the rest of the room (they were two rooms knocked together). The sound wasn't just traveling around a corner, it was rising upwards and being deadened in the space. The cork doesn't easily allow sound to bounce back, as brick does. Hence very little audio was reaching someone already hard of hearing.
Discovering that a student is partially deaf may seem like a daunting prospect. I am living proof that, with a little awareness and experimentation, teaching environments will not have to revert to teacher talking/children listening techniques. It's just a matter of applying classroom management so not to alienate the deaf child.

About author

Joseph got his start in journalism as the co-founder of his high school paper, the ambitiously titled Springfield Voice. He studied news-editorial journalism at the University of North Dakota, where he was an online essay writer and then assistant editor of the Dakota Student newspaper. He began his professional career as a music writer for Vancouver’s Georgia Straight weekly, spent several years as a staff writer and assistant editor for Realm magazine, followed by five-plus years as editor of Sport Quarterly, the newspaper of amateur sports in Nova Scotia. Along the way he has freelanced hundreds of articles for national and regional magazines on a diverse array of topics including politics, the arts, cultural and social issues, business, sports, and history. He prides himself on helping others learn writing. Also, you can buy college essays and don't worry about the quality of writing material.