May 23, 2011

Presentations With Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

I have been doing presentations with some of my deaf and hard of hearing students in their classrooms. The presentations are about famous and successful people who are deaf and hard of hearing (Ashley Fiolek, Sean Forbes, Antoine Hunter, Vinton Cerf, etc.).

It was the second time doing this presentation for one of them, a 3rd grader. He really enjoyed doing it last year. As we wrapped up the presentation, we encouraged his classmates and teacher to ask questions. He basically took over and answered all of their questions, which were mostly directed at him. He did a really good job explaining how his hearing aids work and the different ways deaf and hard of hearing people can communicate.

During this Q & A session, he was asked about how he feels about wearing hearing aids. He looked at me, and I thought that maybe he did not want to answer the question, knowing how this is a sensitive topic for him, so I thought that I should answer for him. "Wearing hearing aids is a different experience for everyone. Some people like it, some don't mind, some are tying to get used to wearing hearing aids, and some simply don't like wearing hearing aids and may be self conscious about it." I was going to talk some more, but my student jumped in and started talking about how he felt about wearing his hearing aids. He talked about how he is dealing with them. He talked about how sometimes he is embarrassed by them and that he thought about growing his hair longer to try to cover them. He would like them to be invisible. But, he said that he likes them too, because they help him hear better. He likes to wear them when he watches television or listens to music. I asked him if it was sort of like a love/hate relationship. He said, "Yes! That is exactly how it is! But, I am working on it. I have only been wearing them for two years. I might need more time to get used to them. Maybe one day they won't be such a big deal to me."

I really was impressed with how honest he was when sharing his personal feelings with the entire class. It takes a lot of guts to share your private thoughts and feelings to a roomful of people.

I am going to have to do these presentations more often.



  1. "some simply don't like wearing hearing aids and may be self conscious about it." There are Deaf people who don't wear aids because they give no help in any situation.

    Vanity and "don't like" barely describe this practical decision.

  2. Wow, I agree it takes guts and you being present probably made him more comfortable as well. Things like this make smile.... Gotta love those kids... makes you love your job even more huh? And yes, please do more next year... practicing (or repeating) doesn't just make perfect... it also gives one a confidence boost as well.


Keep it civil.