Placements Adapted for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

​​​​Placements that are adapted for children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) are usually somewhere in schools designed for regular education of children who are able to hear typically. 

These schools often provide mainstream education (meaning learning in regular education settings) and when children learn in regular classrooms for most or all of the time, it is called inclusion.

Classroom Adaptations for Children with Hearing Needs 

In some mainstream classrooms,​ children who are deaf or hard of hearing use special hearing devices, called Frequency Modulation (FM) system and other listening technology, such as sound field system. 

These devices enhance the sound quality in noisy classrooms.

Teachers wear microphones that link through FM or DM transmission to the child's hearing device.  

In some cases, there is not a need for specialists to work with the student or the teacher. If a child has spoken or sign language similar to that of the other students, and seems to learn at the same rate, then this setting is probably appropriate.  

Parents and teachers should carefully watch the language and academic progress of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing who is fully mainstreamed making sure that the room is acoustically treated to provide for the best listening environment.  

Putting carpets on floors, acoustically tiled ceilings, hanging curtains or shades on tall windows, and covering room dividers with carpet pieces are ways that a room can be adapted so that hearing aids and FM/DM technology can work well. 

Support for Students in an Adaptive Classroom 

Some students require support to do their best in a regular education setting.  Supports might include: 

Consultative Services  

Speech-language pathologist, educational audiologist and/or teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing 

  • Sometimes a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing or speech language pathologist consults with the classroom teacher, but may not work directly with the student. 
  • This may be appropriate when a child requires adaptation in teaching style in order to access the information.
  • Using visual aids, asking questions to check comprehension, or assigning a buddy for activities are ways to adapt for children with hearing needs. 
  • Most teachers are glad to have a professional consultant to give them even more suggestions.
  • Some children who are deaf or hard of hearing prefer to stay in their neighborhood schools with their friends, even if learning in the mainstream classroom takes some extra work.  

Tutoring Services  

Tutors can be a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing or a speech-language pathologist. 

  • Some students may need some extra tutoring to ensure success in the mainstream. 
  • Such services are often provided as individualized instruction, perhaps outside the classroom ("pull-out"). 
  • The tutor can practice new vocabulary, introduce new topics, or fill in background knowledge that other children already know.  
  • Children who need this level of assistance to keep up in class should have regular assessment and observation to be sure that they are doing well. 

Sign Language Interpreting Services 

Some students are able to best access the instruction in the classroom through sign language. Educational interpreters are trained to work closely with the classroom teacher to support student's access to the information being conveyed in the educational setting.  

More information about educational interpreting.

Resource Room Support Services 

In some schools, resource rooms are used to serve students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Resource rooms may also include classrooms with children with various learning challenges (learning disabilities, speech and language, hearing loss). 

  • Students may be enrolled in resource room services for part or all of their school day. 
  • Part-day placement may be provided to assist the student with subject areas such as reading or language arts.   
  • Resource teachers need to know that the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are often different than those with other special challenges. 
  • A teacher with certification in both special education and education of the deaf and hard of hearing, or a consultant to the resource room teacher, can be very important.