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Hearing Loss Accommodations at School and Work

Self-advocacy means standing up for your needs and requires both knowledge of your hearing health and may require some new communication skills. Children with hearing loss will need to develop these skills early so that they can request recommendations or assistance when parents or guardians are not present.

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Recommendations and modifications for hearing impaired students

At School

Recommendations give you better access to communication. Typical hearing loss recommendations include the use of a Roger system assistive technology, or an Australian Sign Language interpreter.

Depending on a number of factors, students with hearing loss may be taught in public or private school, through a specialised education unit or homeschooled.

Plans can be developed in conjunction with hearing loss experts, parents, teachers and students to reduce barriers in education. These plans help ensure access to the learning environment. Reasonable accommodation ensures everyone has access to education and work.

Active participation in the modern classroom

For all students, from children to teens to young adults at university, for those with hearing difficulties, it’s important to hear well at school. Classrooms are a dynamic place for interaction and of course learning. In order to fully participate, every child needs to hear not only the teacher, but also classmates and multimedia devices within the classroom. 

'Hearing and me' template

A classroom resource that empowers kids and teens of different ages to talk about their hearing loss. This PowerPoint template consists of approximately 30 slides that students with hearing loss can choose from to present to their classmates.

The template is filled with fun facts, animated images and videos highlighting relevant topics such as  

  • “How we hear”,
  • “Types of hearing loss”,
  • “How hearing aids work”,
  • “Tips that will help me hear you” and
  • “How to protect your hearing”. 

Within the template, children upload photos of themselves, their hearing technology and even their audiogram to personalise it.

This resource is intended to help students with hearing loss:

  • share their hearing journey with classmates 
  • feel comfortable and confident talking about their hearing loss 
  • learn self-advocacy skills and empower independence 
  • be proud of their hearing technology 
  • answer questions regarding their hearing loss at the end of the presentation
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Classroom Tips for Teachers

As a teacher who may have students with hearing-related challenges in your classroom, here are some tips for accommodating those with hearing loss and use Phonak devices, like hearing aids and Roger Technology.

  • Repeat other students’ answers and comments
  • Repeat instructions more than once
  • Make sure your mouth is visible, try not to turn your back to the students
  • Speak clearly
  • Don’t put students with hearing loss in the spotlight (e.g. Did you get that?)
  • Ask other students to speak up and speak slower
  • Remember to talk to the student directly (not an interpreter)
  • Teachers should talk loud, clear, and understandable

New to Hearing Technology?

Here are some good tips to remember when using hearing technology in your classroom:

  • Hearing aids don’t let you hear “normally” – hearing aids do not restore normal hearing but can provide a boost in hearing-related activities. 
  • Use closed captioning or real time captioning when available. 
  • Consider which media you use when testing students – an audio file alone will put students with hearing loss at a disadvantage.
  • Teachers and students need to know how to troubleshoot hearing technology.
  • Give students more choice in selection of amplification.  

Tips for Classroom Management

As a teacher, you will encounter students with hearing loss. Here are some tips for establishing and promoting an inclusive classroom where those with hearing loss can thrive:

  • Provide directions in writing
  • Writing assignments on board or in a planner for easy access
  • Provide the written transcript of movies or videos that are not captioned
  • Consider conducting testing in small groups of students

Some students you encounter may have Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL) – permanent hearing loss in only one ear, while the opposite ear has normal hearing. Those with unilateral hearing loss can experience difficulties knowing which directions sounds are coming from, being less aware of sounds on the side with hearing loss and struggling to understand in noisy environments.

To understand what a student with unilateral hearing experience hears, you can experience UHL with these classroom activities – listening with only one ear to understand Unilateral Hearing Loss

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For Teens

As children with hearing loss grow into their tween or teenage years, their perspective of needs change. They may become more independent, start to advocate for themselves and may have different ideas for their hearing health care. Together with their parent or guardian as well as hearing care professional, teens with hearing loss can find hearing devices that will help them to continue to create connections at home, at school, at work and with friends. As teens begin to juggle school and part-time work, advocating for themselves becomes more important.


HearingLikeMe is an online community for people whose lives are affected by hearing loss. It works to inspire hope in the face of almost any hearing loss situation through incredible stories and personal anecdotes.

The community brings people together from around the world and includes a No. 1-rated news and lifestyle website, a YouTube channel and more. 

It was created for a simple reason: sharing stories with each other is a powerful thing. Together, we can learn to live with hearing loss in better ways, and together we can advocate for more meaningful change.

The website is an excellent forum for thoughtful columns, informative articles, great stories, videos, tips on hearing aids for teenagers and more.  

Some articles of interest are:

Guide to Access Planning

This guide is for teenagers and young adults with hearing loss and was put together by a team of audiologists and deaf educators. It provides information and tools to help increase your communication and participation in school and other activities. If you are a student, it will also help in planning your transition to university and the workplace.

Transition checklist

This checklist looks at several areas that are important for self-advocacy and personal responsibility. 

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For University

Be prepared to make your college experience successful

As a student in higher education, there are fees that you may be required to pay as part of your studies. These fees include semester fee and student support services.

As a higher education student, there may be grants or funding available for students with disabilities. When contacting the university, seek out the disability support service with whom you can discuss additional support, such as a note-taker, sign language interpreter or other specialised items.

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Hearing well helps boost your career confidence

For Work

When asked what type of challenges might present themselves, Rakita listed some of the most common. “There’s a difference between asking someone to repeat themselves, because you didn’t hear or understand them and asking them to repeat because you didn’t fully grasp the point they were making,” she said.

Many times, patients explain that they know someone is talking and they can make out some of the words but not enough of them to get full understanding or comprehension of what is being said. 

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Are you entitled to reimbursement?

You might be eligible to reimbursement for Roger products to overcome your hearing difficulties at work. A hearing loss should not affect your ability to thrive.

Job Access is a Commonwealth Government program designed to bring together information and resources that can assist with promoting employment for people with a disability. For people who would benefit from a Roger system in the workplace, the individual or their employer may be able to access the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) to pay for a Roger system.

The EAF will not fund hearing aids or cochlear implants.

The EAF operates as a reimbursement model. That is, the individual or their employer first purchases the Roger system (with prior written approval from Job Access) and then Job Access reimburses the purchaser for the cost of the device.

To learn more, contact your hearing care professional.

For more information about Job Access: