When you live with hearing loss, it often means you have to consider challenges that are specific to the way you hear. Whether you are traveling to a new place or making a new friend, knowing how to successfully navigate your hearing limits is a valuable life skill. One huge area where hearing often plays a special role is in education. Educational success pivots around comprehending new information. Entering into higher education can seem daunting if you have a hearing impairment, but with communication, many colleges and universities are equipped to help you succeed in your education with tools to help you stay engaged with classroom information and discussions.
Communicate with Your School
Even if you choose to be discreet about your hearing loss, it’s a good idea to let your school and teachers know that you have hearing issues so they can better accommodate your needs in class and make learning easier and more comfortable.
A good rule of thumb is to touch base with your professors when you sign up for classes. An email introduction can help get the ball rolling for assessing what your hearing needs will be throughout the course. Introduce yourself, and let your professor know whether you will be using hearing aids or other assistive devices to help with your hearing. If you have other information on what works best for you in the classroom, like being seated in a position where you can better read lips, feel free to mention it. You can also ask your instructor about how they have worked with hearing impaired students in the past and what sort of auditory information (and alternatives) will be used throughout the course.
In addition to communicating with your professors, reach out to your school’s services to see what resources may be available to assist you in learning. Most colleges and universities have staff on hand who can specifically address your needs as a student with a learning challenge. Whether there is access to live action captioning cervices, written class notes or transcripts, ASL interpretation or other communication assistance, schools have resources to help you learn. The best way for classrooms to be ready to help you learn with hearing loss is for them to know about your hearing issues and what accommodations can help you be fully engaged in your class.
Position Yourself for Success
When you have hearing loss, you can easily lose information if it is only presented in audio form. Part of getting the most out of learning is positioning yourself in the classroom to optimize your hearing. Consider class format and environment factors. Avoid areas of the room that may expose you to unnecessary noise, like beneath air vents or near open doors or windows. Sitting near to a wall can help you determine the direction that sound or speech is coming from which can be especially important for class discussions.
Keep in mind what the format of the class will be. If your class is mostly driven by the instructor’s lectures, position yourself so you are close to where they will be speaking from and can comfortably see their mouth movements as they talk. Classes built around seminars and class discussions may require some trial and error to find the best location to participate from. For very participatory classes, classroom seating in a circle or around a table will be best for maintaining the flow of your conversational comprehension.
If you have assistive technology or are using an assistive device from your school, it may benefit you to talk to your class about how it will be used to help you hear and participate and what they can do to help your comprehension.
Custom Hearing Solutions
While there’s still a few months before most school start their fall semesters, it’s the perfect time to tune up your hearing at Custom Hearing Solutions. Our thorough hearing exam can isolate issues and creates a personalized “map” of how you hear. Combining auditory testing with individual lifestyle considerations, Custom Hearing Solutions connects you to hearing health answers that are specifically programmed for your hearing needs.
If you’re getting ready to start school in the fall, get off on the right foot with hearing solutions you can trust. Contact Custom Hearing Solutions today for hearing healthcare you can trust.