July 22, 2015

Beginning the School Year: Setting Up Technology for Deaf/HH Students

As usual, summer went by quickly. The school year is about to begin! I am trying my best to get ready.

I tend to focus on getting technology ready for students and teachers to use within the first weeks of school. The technology usually includes FM systems and listening devices. I spend a lot of time delivering the equipment and teaching students and teachers how to use the technology. At this point, I am no longer surprised at how long it can take to get new technological equipment set up and ready to be used effectively in the classroom. It is not as if I can drop off the equipment and walk away. It is a long and sometimes complicated process.

The training usually takes the longest. It is my favorite part of the job. While it would be much easier to simply drop off the equipment, it would not be as interesting. It is crucial to make sure the teachers and students understand how it works, how to use it, and what to do if it stops working. This requires a lot of follow ups and back and forth.

Some students and teachers are immediately comfortable with using assistive technology in the classroom while others may take longer to adjust. In addition, there are students who hate it and absolutely refuse to use it in the classroom. Sometimes they may like it in the beginning and then decide they no longer need it or want it.

When it works well for the student it makes me happy. On using the CART system, one student remarked, "I don't have to concentrate too much. I am not as tired." It also makes me happy when the teachers get to experience how it positively impacts their students. It is truly gratifying to see them do well in the classroom thanks to the technology making learning more accessible for them whether it is through amplifying certain sounds, minimizing background noises, or visually through text and pictures. Technology can also be useful for sign language users. Technology can benefit everyone if utilized appropriately. I look forward to learning more about all the different types of new technology that would benefit deaf and hard of hearing students specifically.

What kinds of assistive technology have you used specifically with deaf or hard of hearing students? Do they seem to help your students?



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  2. For our IEPs, we use the term --- HAT = Hearing Assistive Technology!!
    Our County provides the hearing aids with receiver for the use of the FM system for both BTE (behind the ear) and CI students. Some of our students embrace the use of HAT, yet some - usually beginning in middle school and going into high school, do not. I work with my general ed. teachers to inservice them with the HAT at the beginning of school, but I also use my blog for updates and for those who "forget" how to use it correctly. Every student is different - according to the amount of loss, kind of loss, age, individual personality, and their personal technology!! At least 90% of our students are using some form of hearing assistive technology. If they do not use it --- it's because they refuse!!!

    1. HAT -- I like that! I'm going to start using it with my team members.



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