Tips for Better Communication in Classrooms and Other Group Settings

Here are some ways to improve speech communication for hard of hearing people in a group situation:

  • Reduce background noise such as fans, hallway conversations, and outdoor sounds
  • Use assistive listening systems (here's a background article on assistive listening technology)
  • Seat those with hearing loss closest to the sound source, and in line of sight, with good lighting.  
  • Use a circle or U-shaped seating plan to let all participants see each other when speaking
  • Enforce a "one speaker at a time" rule

When speech won't work:

  • Use written text, person-to-person or on a blackboard
  • Use real-time captioning and/or sign language interpreters

Make sure that everyone understands the access being provided.

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