How You can Improve Your New Learning Experiences
Due to COVID-19, many in-person classroom settings have moved to an online format. Until recently, many of you who are hard of hearing may not have realized how heavily you depended on lip-reading, and seeing people’s facial expressions to efficiently communicate. The ability to see in order to hear is also important in a hard of hearing student’s school and classroom setting. In the fall, when school starts again, many students might return to their classrooms and face masks that are being worn by others will make communication more challenging for the deaf and hard of hearing.
As someone who has experienced hearing loss, you probably figured out ways to adapt in various settings. Modern hearing technology has been very helpful in improving different situations, along with the use of hearing aids and other assistive listening accessories like Phonak’s Roger Select ™ microphones. This assistive listening device can harness sounds that your hearing aids may have missed. You may also use captions on your videos, or if the videos do not have captions, you can use captioning apps.
Any classroom setting can lead to unique dilemmas for anyone with hearing loss. These problems are magnified if those with hearing loss need to go back to the physical classroom, while everyone is wearing a facemask.
Hearing Loss Struggles Faced in Academic Environments (Without Masks)
Hearing loss is unique for each individual, but there are similarities that are universally experienced.
Difficulties of Face Masks in Schools and Social Distance Practices Inside the Classroom
Many people, with or without hearing loss, have realized just how important facial cues and lip-reading are necessary for effective communication. For some people, assistive listening devices that are used to understand others can also be affected due to mask usage.
Wearing a face mask with a clear window has been shown to be helpful with lip-reading.
Students who are hard of hearing should discuss the challenges you face in this new normal with your teachers/professors. Contact your disability or student services coordinator, or faculty member who can assist you. You may want to plan ahead of time so that you, your instructors and fellow students are ready beforehand. Here are some tips:
This new way of life that we are adapting to is a unique challenge for everyone, but particularly for the deaf and hard of hearing community. This shouldn’t cause too much alarm. There are methods to work through it by raising awareness to your community and voicing your needs.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids or an assistive listening device, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs and re-fittings. If you need hearing aid service, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member from our office will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.