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Success at Work and School

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, or assistive technology or a British Sign Language interpreter.

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

Recommendations may be provided through special education needs (SEN). If a child has a SEN, their Education Health and Care plan (EHC) will provide a school that can accommodate their attendance. An EHC plan is 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 personalize 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 

There are 2 versions of the template. A version for younger children (5-10 years old) and a version for older children and teens (11 years old and above). Both versions have the same content but images of children in each template reflecting the different age groups. 

 
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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

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 HearingLikeMe.com 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.

Personalized Transition Notebook

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

 
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Be prepared to make your higher education experience successful

For University

As a student in higher education, there are fees that you may be required to pay as part of your studies. These fees include the semester fee, student support services, transit pass and student union. For students with hearing loss, higher education institutions are required to find alternative solutions that meet each student’s needs.  

As a higher education student, there may be grants or funding available for students with disabilities. When arriving at 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.  

 

As a student with hearing loss, the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DAS) may be available to you. DAS may cover the cost of equipment you require and your hearing aids. To determine your DAS eligibility, please visit Disabled Students’ Allowance.

 
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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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Partner with Roger

As a Phonak partner, you’ll get access to industry-leading hearing solutions, our extensive resource library, marketing support to help your business grow, community events, training, and more. Someone struggling with a hearing disability in the workplace may also arrive early to meetings to claim a certain position at the table, possibly in the middle if he or she is experiencing overall hearing loss, or at one end or side if the hearing issue is worse in a specific ear. He or she may choose a seat in the front row at a presentation so that he or she is

Listening fatigue 

“You may feel tired at the end of the day because you’re straining to listen, also known as listening fatigue, due to higher effort used listening,” Rakita said. 

If you’ve ever experienced that exhaustion after a day of being tuned-in at a conference or all-day meeting, you’ve encountered a form of listening fatigue. That feeling is multiplied if you are struggling with hearing loss, since you’re working that much harder to hear and comprehend everything being said, filling in words and making your ears and mind work that much harder. 

The career effect 

“You feel like you’re missing things that other people are understanding because you look around to see if other people seem to be getting it or are also missing out,” Rakita said. “Those with hearing issues try to compensate by nodding, by taking a guess at what’s said based on a couple of words they heard, or by not saying anything at all.” 

The struggle of not feeling like you fully know what’s going on can lead to withdrawal because it’s difficult, embarrassing, or frustrating to continue to participate in certain meetings and conversations and equally difficult to not be included in them. 

“Withdrawal should be a huge red flag, but it takes some self-awareness to notice it and seek help,” she added. “Family members or a significant other might notice hearing loss first, since hearing loss can be difficult to sense in yourself.” 

Focus on work rather than on hearing 

Advanced hearing aid technology does a great job of helping you hear friends and colleagues. However, when hearing in noisy places or at a distance, even the most powerful hearing aids have limitations. For this reason, we have developed state-of-the-art wireless microphones to give your hearing aids a boost. Placed on a table or clipped on to a speaker’s clothing, the microphones transmit speech clearly from wherever the conversation takes place. 

Roger solutions at work 

Depending on your needs and your work situation, you may need to use more than one microphone. Conference calls, boardroom meetings, and workshop presentations tend to be challenging listening environments. Roger is designed to help you cut through the distractions, so you can fully communicate, participate and contribute at work. 

 

All I need to do is tap Roger and I am in. At last I can actively participate in both meetings and the social scene at work. I couldn’t do that before I started to use Roger

Roger On used during business conversation
Trish Crowther  Quality Contracts Officer 
Roger On used during business conversation

Access to Work

If you are disabled or have a health condition that makes it difficult for you to do your job without support, such as hearing loss, your employer must make changes called reasonable adjustments to support your employment. Access to Work is a government-led programme that supports people, including those with hearing loss, start or stay within the workplace. The personalised scheme setup supports those with disabilities and remove workplace-related barriers to employment.

Reimbursement

Roger systems needed for work are often, partly or fully, reimbursed. Hearing care professionals offering the Roger portfolio can help you apply for reimbursement and support you in the application process.  Access to Work may provide support, special aids and equipment. To determine whether you are eligible for Access at Work, please visit Access to Work.

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