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Hearing Impairments

About hearing impairments

The term hearing impairment includes deafness and varying degrees of hearing loss. Most students with hearing impairments have some degree of residual hearing ability. The term hard of hearing refers to people who have hearing loss but still use the auditory channel as the primary mode for perceiving speech. Students who are completely deaf are usually educated in non-mainstream classrooms, but students who are hard of hearing are usually in general education settings.

Because hearing impairments are invisible handicaps and the prevalance of hearing impairments increases with age, teachers should be aware of the signs to look for in students who may be developing hearing impairments. These include speaking loudly, turning head to position ear closer to speaker, asking for information to be repeated, looking confused and having trouble following directions, not responding to when spoken, and withdrawal from classroom activities that involve listening. Students who exhibit symptoms of possible hearing impairments should be referred for formal auditory assessments.

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