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Hearing Impaired and Education Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 9th, 2019

Defining Characteristics of Hearing Impaired

The characteristics of hearing impaired can be categorized as behavioral or motor characteristics. The various behavioral characteristics of hearing impaired is a bad attention to what is being said by another person. This condition makes the victim appear as absent minded.

Another characteristic of hearing impaired is the fact that the sufferers communicate by use of gestures instead of responding to persons communicating with them (McCormick, 1995). The sufferer may also turn or node their heads in response to a spoken message.

In some instances these sufferers have underdeveloped speech abilities. However, new discoveries include programmable hearing aids that provide credible assistance for all the affected parties as established within the paper.

Most hearing impaired people usually speak in a monotonous tone and find it difficult to follow the instructions. These sufferers in many instances follow other people and are not very eager to take part in conversations and different types of discussions.

Another outstanding characteristic of these people is that they work best only when in a group as opposed to doing things individually. In addition, the sufferers turn to be actors rather than being the real people that they really are (Drift, Brocaar & Zanten, 1987). They are mostly preoccupied with things rather than with human beings and react to noise, rather than words.

“The motor characteristics of the hearing impaired include having difficulty in balancing which in turn leads to problems and delayed motor abilities” (Gordon, 2012). These people can also experience some problems with motor speed which is manifested by the sufferer’s inability to process information properly and the inability to complete motor movements in good time (Ivashkevich, 2006).

The children who became hearing impaired due to illness or accident always become skilled lip readers though they can only decipher 20-30% of spoken language. The affected may seem to understand proceedings within the classroom; however, it is highly likely that they misinterpret the information or miss the verbal interaction of their speaking counterparts.

Study of Visual Arts Serve and the Needs of Hearing Impaired

While visual arts may be assumed to be an area in which the hearing impaired people won’t have a problem in understanding, research and experience has proven otherwise. These people have to get an additional interpretation aids such as audio systems that explain the objects that are placed in front of them, adding further meaning and proper understanding to the images and artifacts.

Visual arts have widely played a role in influencing the views of society on the humanity of the hearing impaired (Buchanan, 1990). Research shows that many hearing impaired painters, sculptors and photographers are aware of the pivotal role of their works of art which contained mostly a political agenda. Visual arts has also seen many hearing impaired perform in theatres.

Many studies have been conducted aimed at diagnosing social behavior and emotional disturbance, using drawing as a testing instrument.

Davis and Hoopes in 1975 applied the H-T-P Test (House-Tree-Person Test) to 80 hearing impaired so as to do an assessment and comparison in the differences in their drawings that may reveal aspects of disability. It also assisted them to investigate the indicators of emotional disturbances or difficulties in socio-effective adjustments.

Visual arts is necessary for elementary schooling in that the society we live in today has embraced the use of images for identification purposes., to express ideas and feelings, to communicate and for aesthetics. The use of visual arts in teaching has made it possible for deaf students to access contents of the curricula.

In a class where the teacher does not know how to use sign language, the teacher can readily employ the use of visual arts to convey his message to the students. This is possible when the teacher knows the individual needs of every student. Visual arts have made it possible for the development of programs that are learner-centered.

Role of the Art Teacher towards Hearing Impaired Students

The teacher must be an advisor, counselor, diplomat, technician learner and a manager in order to be effective. As a teacher, he needs to be armed with appropriate teaching strategies. Additionally, the teacher needs to have a deeper understanding of the complexity of language and its development (Evenhuis, 1996).

An in-depth understanding of how hearing impairments influence the development of the language is desirable. This situation arises because language is a psycho-social phenomenon through which we understand the complex social environment, as well as learn the various requirements for an effective communication.

The teacher needs to have skills that can enable him/her to identify the language disparities among his/her students. The skills are gained through an effective training and experience. The teacher should be able to teach the students other modes of communication available, other than speech.

As an advisor, the teacher contributes largely to the multidisciplinary assessment of the students. According to Gordon (2012) the teacher must have regular contact with the students in order to achieve this result. As such, the advice offered to the concerned guardians should take into consideration the effect of loss of hearing among the affected persons.

As such, they manage to give the parents a sense of hope on their children, who in turn feel accepted into the society despite their condition. The pieces of advice are also given to the individuals so as to allow them understand their condition, as well as accept it.

As a counselor, a trained teacher of the deaf understands the emotional effects that loss of hearing brings to the children and to their close friends and families. The adverse stresses that accompany loss of language are not easy to handle.

It is therefore a challenging task to the counselor to convince the hearing impaired student that his/her situation is normal. Therefore, the teacher needs to use his/her past experience to accomplish the task of counseling (Gordon, 2012). The counseling is also essential in the students as they pass through the various stages of physiological development.

As a learner, the teacher of the deaf acquaints him/herself with the current changes if he/she wants to serve the immediate needs of the hearing-impaired students and the youth. The teacher could apply his/her knowledge to make use of innovations to work with the talented hearing-impaired students to the benefit of the students.

As a technician, the teacher must be well versed with the current technologies available to the hearing-impaired. Most students attending mainstream schools alongside the hearing counterparts always have hearing aids and other ancillary equipment which must be to a high standard (Ivashkevich, 2006).

To do this, the teacher needs to have a considerable technical know-how on how to operate and maintain the equipment. He/she must also be in a position to interpret and understand audiological information to the students. He/she should be able to advise parents on the most appropriate equipment.

How an Arts Teacher Should Adapt to Behavior Issues of Hearing Impaired Students

The hearing-impaired in the society always have some cultural behaviors that they use to co-exist with their hearing counterparts. These cultural behaviors include seeking attention through flickering the lights, stomping the feet, and throwing objects.

The teacher teaching such students is advised to be vigilant and take precautionary measures like putting on a helmet during field work. The teacher must also be attentive always to respond to the students needs whenever they may ask for any service.

The students always tend to congregate together. This is to enable them assist one another during class hours. Thus the teacher should always design assignments for group work rather than individual, to enable the students share ideas.

The hearing-impaired students always make maximum use of their eyes in learning the environment and during classes. The teacher should therefore employ visual arts in his teaching to enable the students to understand and enjoy his lessons. These students also need a better student-teacher eye contact.

The hearing-impaired students always cover their face to show admission of guilt for misbehavior. The teacher should be remarkably responsive in such a situation and take the necessary disciplinary approaches so as to contain the situation.

The teacher has also to get used to the tendency by these students to talk even with the moth full of food. He/she must learn to decipher the message being relayed by such students. The teacher will have to get used to the behavior of being hugged after an introduction.

The teacher has to learn to interpret the specific gestures and head nods that the students use as conversation regulators. The inability of hearing-impaired students to understand spoken words has necessitated the use of learning and teaching aids such as overhead projectors, chalkboards, pictures, maps, filmstrips, and puppetry.

Parties Concerned About the Issues of Hearing- Impaired in the School

The most important party to be informed about the issues of the hearing-impaired is the parent. For that matter, parents must be conversant with the situation in order to inform them of the progress and any development concerning their children in the school.

This will enable them arrange for any medical attention and therapies available. For instance, if a partially hearing impaired student becomes permanently deaf, the parents need to seek medical attention for their child to help salvage the situation, or arrange for counseling sessions for him/her.

Another party to be informed is the school management. This will enable the management arrange for/avail the special equipments for the student. In some cases, the management may find it necessary to transfer the student to another special school as per his/her new needs.

The sponsors of the student, in some cases must also be informed to enable them provide the necessary support and motivation to him/her. The sponsors will have to adjust to meet the new demands that come with the development. The teaching staff should also inform one another of any development to enable them handle the students appropriately based on the needs.

Appropriate Adaptive Teaching Strategies That Will Cause No Disruptions

It is necessary that the teacher gets the attention of the hearing-impaired student before speaking and communicating with him/her. He must at the same time face the student directly or gently touch the student on the shoulder or arm.

Facial expressions, gestures, and other body language will be part of the information that will help to decode the message. In sequencing of topics to teach, the consecutive topics should be related to each other. The use of visual aids in teaching will be an added advantage since the students use vision as the primary means of receiving information.

In making crucial announcements, the teacher must make them written e.g. assignments, due dates, changes in class schedule and special dates of events. It is advisable that the teacher uses an interpreter wherever needed and captioned films, videos, and laser disks.

When using audio aids, avoid background noises since the aids always amplify any sound they receive. So the classroom should be quiet.

Modifications Needed in The Art Classroom to Accommodate the Hearing Impaired Needs

The learning environment in the classroom needs to be modified to accommodate the hearing-impaired students without causing much inconvenience to the rest of the students. These modifications include:

Proper sitting arrangement: This is one of the simplest modifications to the classroom that will benefit the hearing impaired. As an effective sitting arrangement, the seats should be positioned in such that every single student has an excellent view of the teacher.

The hearing-impaired students always take the front seats to hear the teacher clearly and have a better view of the teacher’s gestures and facial expressions. They are also able to read the lips of the teacher as he/she talks.

The front seat also enables the teacher to interact effectively with the students since most hearing-impaired students always have speaking difficulties. The use of sign language also requires a closer student-teacher interaction.

Reduce background noise in the classroom: Many hearing-impaired students rely on hearing aids to help them understand the teacher. These aids magnify all sounds thus the presence of a background noise in the classroom creates a non-conducive learning atmosphere to these students.

The noise distracts the students’ attention. Seating the student at the front seats can help minimize the interference caused by such noise (Silver, & Rawley, 1978). Noise sources from outside the classroom can be minimized by closing all external windows and doors.

Provide visual aids: A number of visual aids are available to help the teacher and the students to communicate better. These aids include the provision of white board or a projector system. Having a place to write down the key ideas discussed in a lesson will be of great benefit to the hearing-impaired students who rely mostly on their sense of sight to perceive information (Brooks, Wooley & Kanjilal, 1972).

Allow the hearing-impaired students to choose a study partner: Giving an opportunity for every student to choose a study partner with whom they will work closely can be very exciting to these students and helpful to their academic needs. It makes the teacher’s work easier too.

During classes, if a study buddy misunderstands a question or gets the question wrong, then the partner can offer him/her assistance in the classroom. While the students are always encouraged to communicate directly with the teacher in case they don’t get anything, some students can be shy and prefer to ask a study-fellow

to use of their own equipment. Even though in most cases students are always required to use school equipment during lessons, the students who have other sophisticated equipment should be allowed to use them during the classes (Silver & Rawley, 1978).

This will allow them to feel secure, as well as remain comfortable during the learning process. During a computer lesson, for example, a hearing-impaired student may want to use a unique pair of headphones; in such a case, it would be advisable to allow the use.

Ways in Which an Art Educator Could Work With Hearing Impaired Students

Students who have a hearing impairment can largely benefit from inclusion in various special needs programs. The inclusion policy helps eradicate physical and social isolation of the hearing impaired (Brooks, Wooley & Kanjilal, 1972).

The educator provides the appropriate facilities and learning aids that enhance the learning process for the hearing impaired. They also give the appropriate technological advice to the students concerning the most recent equipment that are suitable for them.

They offer training on how to use the visual and hearing aids to enhance the learning process for the students. Most educators also offer counseling sessions for their students to help them persevere the emotional implications that come along with the loss of hearing. The educators also educate these students on their fundamental rights and freedoms as provided for in the constitution.

New Approaches to Lessons to College Level Hearing Impaired Students

Hearing impaired students have different levels of deafness. They also present a variation in their abilities in communication, “the variation can be attributed to the degree of hearing loss, when the loss of hearing occurred, social environments and home environment” (Evenhuis, 1996).

The college students need to be integrated with other college students during the learning lessons to provide a conducive learning atmosphere (Kemp &Ryan, 1990). Research has shown that the mainstream deaf students prefer to relate to other deaf students.

Alienation from both deaf and hearing peers was reported. The hearing impaired students attend same lectures with the hearing counterparts. They have support services like interpreting and real-time captioning. This makes some students suffer from the stigma of being different.

The hearing impaired students in the mainstream have always relied on third party to access information. This has in effect reduced direct communication between the lecturers and the students; thereby, allow for the communication to take place in an effective manner.

It will be necessary in future to use automatic speech recognition using specialized software that translates spoken messages to print. The various support service that should be offered to college students with hearing impairment include:


Due to the learning disparity between the hearing impaired students and their hearing counterparts, there is need to avail interpreters to them. According to several sources, deaf college students learning science with aid of a skilled interpreter scored approximately twice as high as those who learned through unskilled interpreter (Ladd, 2002).

In a study conducted with 60 deaf students, students retained a significant level of information when learning from an instructor who signed for himself as compared to those who learnt through an unskilled interpreter. There was no significant difference reported between the direct instruction and skilled interpreter conditions.


Many hearing impaired college students don’t get as much information as their hearing counterparts. It is against this backdrop that tutoring is necessary to be introduced to the institutions of higher learning. Tutoring refers to a more individualized direct instructional approach. Many students consider tutoring as an essential tool to their academic success.

In England and the European countries, tutoring is more of a direct instructional approach than a support service, while in the United States, it is considered a support service that provide students with current learning and development of skills to help enhance their course grades and study skills (Silver & Rawley, 1978).

The focus of tutoring may vary depending on the individual needs of the student. In some students, the emphasis could be on course content, while in others, it was mainly focused on development of independent learning strategies, organizing for class, building confidence, and other general learning skills.

Real-Time Captioning

Real tine captioning has several advantages. For instance, in some captioning systems, the display remains on the screen foe sufficient time to allow students to check back and fill in the information they might have missed. The captioning system also offers hard copies of the complete lecture transcript after class while captions are stored in a computer memory.

The exact technical and specific vocabulary can also be produced by the captionist. There is need for research to be done on how content learning through captions relate to the reading ability of the deaf student.

Note Taking

Note taking is a hard task for hearing impaired college students. Language skills and the challenge of attending to multiple visual tasks like interpreters, demonstrations make note taking difficult. Printouts from captions may be preferred to note taking since the printouts give the full lecture.

However they are cumbersome since one has to figure out where the main points lie. In note taking, one is able to comprehend the lecture and take down the points as he/she understands them.

The college level students can make use of the contracted resources for services like American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and the Computer Assisted Real-time Transcription (CART). These are services available in the classrooms and lecture halls for use by students.

“CART is a service offered by trained court stenographers using a steno machine and a laptop computer supported with special software which translates steno into written English” (Silver & Rawley, 1978). The introduction of a wireless FM transmission system has been of remarkable assistance to such college students. It makes it possible to amplify the speech of a speaker to make it audible to the hearing impaired students.

“When speaking to a hearing impaired student, it is advisable to keep his/her hands and other objects away from your mouth” (Ladd, 2002). If he/she misunderstands, then try rephrasing rather than repeating. During presentation of a class lecture, it is advisable to use the appropriate visual aids to assists the presentation.

In handling students with interpreters or CART service, there is need for the teacher to make pauses. The teacher should be patient with the student responses.

“In the issuing out of papers that require immediate visual review, there is need to give the students an ample time to give their visual attention towards the paper before giving explanation or instructions” (Evenhuis, 1996). In cases where an interpreter is used, it is necessary to discuss which way of communication in the classroom will be the most appropriate and will not make other pupils feel uncomfortable.

Role of a Para Educator to the Student and Teacher

A Para educator is an individual who works under the directions of a teacher as an assistant in the educational process. They are use to allow both students, with and without disabilities to access a number of services. Para educators deliver learning activities to the students assigned to them.

They serve as positive role models to the students. They also increase student learning opportunities and provide more individualized instructions. They give more personalized attention to the students with special needs.

The Para educators also enable the teacher create time for planning, instruction and evaluation of the students. They play a big role in the monitoring and evaluation of students’ academic progress.

“Additional benefits of using a Para educator include the improvement of the student’s self-concept, increased positive student attitudes towards learning and school, improvement in student discipline, improved teacher morale, improved parent-school relations, improved teacher and educator adult-to-adult interpersonal relations” (Drift, Brocaar & Zanten, 1987).

Other instructional duties that a Para educator may perform include providing assistance in organizing field trips, reading aloud or listening to children read, assist students in performing activities that have been initiated by the teacher.


Brooks, D., Wooley H., & Kanjilal C. (1972). Hearing loss and middle ear disorders in Patients with Down Syndrome (mongolism). Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 16, 21-29.

Buchanan, H. (1990). Early onset of presbyacusis in Down syndrome. Scandinavian Audiology, 19, 103-110.

Drift, J., Brocaar, M., & Zanten, G. (1987). The relation between the pure tone audiogram and the click auditory brainstem respon­se threshold in cochlear hearing loss. Audiology 26, 1-10.

Evenhuis, M. (1996). Dutch consensus on diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment in children and adults with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 40, 451-456.

Gordon, E. (2012). The Role of The Peripatetic Teacher of The Deaf. Retrieved from

Ivashkevich, O. (2006). When We Were Young: New Perspectives on The Art of The Child. Berkely, CA: University of California Press.

Kemp, D., & Ryan, S. (1990). A guide to the effective use of otoacoustic emissions. Ear and Hearing, 11, 93-105.

Ladd, P. (2002). Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. New York: Cromwell Press Ltd.

McCormick, B., (1995) History and state of the art in behavioural methods for hearing assessment in low-functioning children. Scand Audiol, 24, 31-5.

Silver, B., & Rawley, A. (1978). Developing cognitive skills through art: programs for children with communication disorders or learning disabilities. Baltimore: University Park Press.

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