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Disability, Re-Entry and Veteran Services
Montana State University
P.O. Box 173960
Bozeman, MT 59717-3960


Tel: (406) 994-2824
TTY: (406) 994-6701
Fax: (406) 994-3943

180 Strand Union Building

Brenda York

> Office of Disability, Re-Entry and Veteran Services  > Disabled Student Services
Hearing Impairments

General Tips

  • Find out how the person best communicates.

  • Gain the student's attention before starting a conversation.

  • Use a pencil and paper to communicate thoughts.

  • Remember that body language is important.

  • Try to match your facial expressions and body language with what you are saying. For example, if you are angry and saying angry words, show that anger on your face.

  • Face the student when speaking.

  • Use written assignments, lab instructions, and demonstration summaries.

  • Use visual aids.

  • Consider using e-mail to communicate.

  • Repeat questions and statements from other students.
If the Person Lip-reads
  • Speak in a normal, unexaggerated manner. Simple, short sentences are best.

  • Provide a clear view of your mouth; consider lighting.
Communicating through an Interpreter
  • Address the person with the hearing disability, rather than the interpreter!

  • Ask the student to introduce you to the interpreter.

  • Ask for a brief explanation of the interpreter's role in the classroom.

  • Discuss with the student and interpreter what seating arrangements will be most suitable.

  • Let the interpreter know when any audio-visual equipment will be used. If low light conditions are used for films or slide presentations, the interpreter may need to request a lamp. DSS can assist you to meet this request.

  • Ask for clarification if the interpreter voices the student's remarks in an unintelligible manner. Similarly, if the instructor speaks too fast during class, if someone speaks inaudibly, or if several people talk at once, the interpreter will not be able to provide a clear interpretation to the student.

  • Ask the interpreter if he or she can provide assistance after class should you wish to speak with the hearing impaired student; the interpreter may have other obligations.

  • Although it is generally permissible for the student and interpreter to clarify some brief remark, signed, spoken, or spelled during the class time, they should not have private conversations with each other during class.
View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 08/15/2013
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