Quick Tips: Enhancing Deaf student experience

Are you worried about working with Deaf students?  Read this quick guide to make sure it all goes smoothly.

Effective communication is the key to teaching Deaf students – tutors and lecturers have a responsibility to ensure good communication in their classes and lectures and to facilitate it in the interactive setting of a seminar, tutorial or group discussion.

  1. Deaf students usually develop strategies to achieve effective communication, so wherever possible take the lead from them and always ask if you are not sure. Remember, it is not possible for a Deaf student to lip-read at the same time as reading other material (e.g. OHPs), watching (e.g. videos or demonstrations) or doing practical tasks.
  2. Make sure appropriate communication technologies are available and used (e.g. listening devices and loop systems), always ensure that the room is well lit, structure teaching sessions well, write key words on the board, recap at intervals, use examples when explaining abstract concepts, and provide handouts and instructions in advance.
  3. Be prepared to allow additional time for a Deaf student to understand and assimilate what you have said and to make contributions to discussions. Deaf people need to keep up high levels of concentration in order to follow communication, so allow time for occasional relaxation or ‘eye breaks’.
  4. Provide human support in the form of a qualified and registered British Sign Language/English Interpreter, Communication Support Worker, Lipspeaker or Notetaker. Don’t worry though – if you are in doubt, ask the student, or ask us.

Clarion is available 24/7 365 days a year and we are happy to discuss your queries at any time. 

Clarion can also provide Deaf Awareness Training that would help you better understand the needs of your deaf students.

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