October 11, 2011

Oh, No! Hearing Aid Battery Died! What Should We Do?!! Ack!!

I had a student whose hearing aid went out unexpectedly while at school first thing in the morning. The battery died. Her first period teacher emailed me in a panic asking me what she should do. She wondered if I should call her parents. She insinuated that the student was freaking out.

I responded with an email (names excluded for privacy reasons):

Thanks for letting me know.

She should have extra hearing aid batteries on her. We have talked about this before. If not, then continue the day doing what you plan to do just like you would when she has her hearing aid (use closed captioned films, write important information on board, face student, don't cover your mouth when speaking, etc.). She is in high school now, I expect her to advocate for her hearing needs and let you know how you can best support her in the classroom. Do not allow her to use her situation as an excuse for not doing work or participating in class.

While it must be annoying and frustrating for her to be without her hearing aid, I am certain that she will get through the day fine. If for some reason she needs to talk to me, she can call me anytime.

I will be at the school sometime tomorrow. I will talk to her and remind her why it is important that she keeps extra batteries on her while at school.

I will email the other teachers and let them know. I'll call her mother, so that she is aware of the situation.

Thank you.

I saw this student the next day. As expected, she survived the entire school day without her hearing aid. She actually was surprised that she did okay. She proudly showed me that she was carrying two extra packs of hearing aid batteries in her back pack.   :)



  1. I usually have 6 packs of batteries in my bucket at school so I replace my batteries every Monday! :)

  2. If she knew some sign language and she would be able to communicate lot easier whenever technology fails. Just my 2 cents.

  3. @Sean, this seems to be a deaf or hard of hearing student successfully mainstreamed into regular education classes using her residual hearing, listening skills, and speech. No need to learn or use sign language - just keep an extra pack or two of batteries around! Problem solved. And she did OK without her hearing aid too, which suggests to me that she knows how to advocate for her needs as an oral deaf student. She's not helpless without her hearing aids. I guess her first period teacher had the wrong idea about what hearing aids do and how to adapt. nice email, e). I would have had to edit and re-edit to come across as graciously as you did. :)

    Anonymous the First

  4. @Anonymous the First, Thank you. :) I was hoping my email came across graciously. Writing emails can be tricky. She has a very caring teacher who did not understand what it meant for the student to be without her hearing aid, and I was glad that she emailed me.

    @Sean, if she knew sign language it would not have helped her much since no one else signs. If she did use sign language or understood it, she would have had an interpreter. Nevertheless, she is able to communicate well through speaking and listening and is really good at advocating for herself. I am sure it was not fun, but overall it seems as if she did fine without her hearing aid. Plus, her teachers are very supportive and willing to learn how they can best support a student who has a hearing loss.

    BTW, This student has a moderate-severe hearing loss in one ear, while the other has a profound loss, kind of like me.

  5. Good for you, (e! It was always frustrating for me when my 8th graders were total lumps about self-advocacy, and I had to sit in IEP meetings with parents who just railed about, "teaching my child to advocate." I'd always tell them that you can't teach a child to speak up for themselves, and then we would argue. :/ I love the email you sent - saving it for template use in the future maybe! :)


Keep it civil.