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Class 8 Vis and Hearing
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Class 8 Vis and Hearing



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  • Academically, Donald manages fairly well. He needs a magnifier to read smaller text and cannot see the blackboard, but reads at grade level. His printing and writing are very poor, and he has had a scribe for most of his schooling. He is about a year behind grade level in math.
  • Sports are a challenge for Donald. He has limited depth perception, and is can’t tell when a ball is coming at him. He also has difficulty gauging depth when running or riding a bicyle.
  • What percent of speech is available to someone who uses speech reading?


  • 1. Visual and Hearing Impairments EPSE 317
  • 2. Not One, but Two Stories:
    • Evelyn, 12, acquired profound sensorineural hearing impairment
    • Donald, 9, loss of sight in right eye when 2, severe impairment in left eye
  • 3. Donald
    • Donald is nine years old
    • He lives in Quesnel with his father, who works for Tolko forest industries and him mother, who works for the Schoo District as a SEA.
    • He has no sibs.
    • He has always lived in Quesnel.
    • When he was two, he lost his right eye to neuroblastoma.
    • His left eye was damaged by chemotherapy; he has 20/120 vision in it.
  • 4. Donald’s School
    • Donald attends St. Jude Elementary, a school within the Kamloops Diocesan School District.
    • It’s a small school, but the District has good special education resources that operate out of Kamloops.
    • Donald has always been at St. Jude’s and is popular with classmates and teachers.
  • 5.
    • Academically, Donald does well
    • He reads at grade level, although he needs a magnifier to read smaller text.
    • He can’t see the blackboard.
    • Math is a bit of a problem—he’s about a year behind grade level.
    • His printing is very unclear
    • And he gets tired and loses his ability to pay attention
  • 6.
    • Sports are a challenge for Donald
    • In addition to poor vision, he has limited depth perception, so he can’t track a ball easily
    • Running is also difficult; he’s inclined to stumble
    • He’s inactive at recess, and generally reluctant during gym.
  • 7.
    • Donald enjoys sculpture
    • He has always liked to model things out of clay or plasticine, and has recently taken to woodcarving.
    • He makes some nice little statues of animals, which his friends and family like very much.
  • 8. Next Year Donald Will Be in Grade 4
    • What are likely to be the challenges he will face?
    • What can we offer him to make schooling successful and enjoyable?
  • 9. Auntie Liz’s TRUE story (Pretty much, true…)
    • This is the story of Evelyn
    • It is, for a change, not set in British Columbia, but rather in Northeast Scotland
  • 10. It began in Ellon…
    • A little farming community, north of Aberdeen
    • A couthy family lived on a farm, there, and had for some generations.
    • They farmed cattle, mostly black Angus
    • There were two children, Alistair and Evelyn
  • 11.
    • Like most Scots, they enjoyed music, and the kids were encouraged to take music lessons, and back then the school system provided free lessons.
    • Little Evelyn really took to music—by the time she was seven she played piano and clarinet really well.
  • 12.
    • Evelyn dreamed of becoming a professional musician—either with the Scottish National Orchestra or maybe one of the London Orchestras.
    • But when she was eight she became very ill—with what was likely a meningitis
    • She got better but she’d lost her hearing—she realised she couldn’t follow a conversation in the dark.
  • 13.
    • In fact, when her parents took her to the audiologist in Aberdeen, they learned that she was profoundly (not completely) deaf.
  • 14.
    • Evelyn stayed at school, with support from the Aberdeen School for the Deaf
    • Because she had already developed good speech and learned to read before she lost her hearing, she became a good speech reader.
    • And she could access learning content by reading.
  • 15.
    • Evelyn’s music teacher was very sad; her wonderful student would no longer be able to study and grow as a musician.
    • But the next year, Evelyn showed up for lessons. She could still play piano and clarinet well, and played first clarinet in the school band.
  • 16.
    • Evelyn remained determined to become a musician.
    • When she was twelve, it was time to move on from the Ellon Academy.
    • At her new school , the guidance counsellor tried her best to make Evelyn see reality.
  • 17.
    • Deaf people can’t become musicians.
    • Evelyn, being a bright young woman, should think of another career.
    • Evelyn dug in her heels.
    • What do you think?
    • … ..
  • 18.
    • The new school also insisted that Evelyn wear hearing aids.
    • She hated them, and took them out on every opportunity.
    • What do you think?
  • 19.
    • http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1r6xr_fred-frith-evelyn-glennie_music
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve24kXu1LTg
  • 20. Congenital / Adventitious (aka) Acquired
    • Different issues, depending on the age an impairment is acquired.
    • Concept: rather than disabled, a person who uses four senses
    • The challenge is to make your classroom and instruction accessible to the person with four senses.
  • 21. Signs of possible vision problems
    • Rubs eyes
    • Squints, shuts, or covers one eye
    • Tilts or thrusts head forward
    • Holds head at unusual angle when reading or looking at things
    • Blinks more often than usual
    • Irritable when doing close-up work
  • 22.
    • Moves head rather than eyes when reading
    • Can’t see distant things clearly
    • Has difficulty copying both near and far
  • 23. Child may complain of
    • Eye discomfort—itch, burn, scratchy
    • Can’t see well
    • Dizziness, headaches, nausea after doing close-up work.
    • Blurred or double vision.
  • 24. Vision impairments
    • Lack of acuity
    • Lack of clarity
    • Lack of stability
  • 25. Visual Impairments
    • Impact:
      • Mobility
      • Use of text and other visual resources for learning
      • Math concepts
      • Possibly socialisation—ability to read social situations, visual pragmatics
      • Safety--
  • 26. Challenges
    • Availability of adapted materials
    • Classroom set up
    • Access to physical activity
    • Meaningful evaluation and assessment
  • 27. Supports and services
    • For blind and very low vision
      • Mobility instructor when in new environments
    • Enough room on desktop to allow for large print, or magnifier
    • Accessible storage area for adapted material
    • Placement—not directly into glare, but with adequate lighting
  • 28.
    • Enable participation and view of classmates
    • Use enlarge function of photocopier
    • Make sure auditory environment is optimal
    • Rehearse emergency procedures
    • Ask child what he/she needs to help
  • 29. Safety stuff
    • Understand and make sure students understand how to guide a blind person….
    • Don’t leave cupboards or drawers open.
  • 30. Adaptive Tech
    • Braille
      • Braille note-takers and computer monitors
    • Anything that can scan and enlarge print
    • Kurzweil and other text-to-voice scanners
    • Tape-recorded materials
    • E-text (project Gutenberg)
    • Captioned film and videos
  • 31. Using adaptive tech and other instructive stuff
    • Access Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired
    • Allow time for reading—may be slower than classmates
    • Don’t talk to the blackboard!!!
    • Glossy paper and whiteboards are problems for low vision
    • Find forms of vigorous physical exercise for students.
  • 32.
    • Pointing at things doesn’t work—describe whereabouts on 12-hour clock
    • Be conscious of “blinding” mannerisms
    • Call on child by name
    • Don’t under-estimate
  • 33. Signs of Possible Hearing Problems
    • Doesn’t turn to soft voice on first call
    • Isn’t alert to environmental sounds
    • Doesn’t respond to sound or turn toward origin of sound
    • Speech sounds different from age peers
    • Doesn’t show consistent growth of understanding and use of words to communicate
  • 34.
    • Seems consistently inattentive: says “what?” or “huh?” more often than other children
    • Misunderstands verbal directions?
  • 35. Deafness and Hearing Impairments
    • Deaf —a culture, defined by its language, not by its audiological deficits.
    • Signed languages—signed culture
    • Likely schooled in separate programs whenever available
    • Some bi-bi (bilingual-bicultural) programs available throughout Canada
  • 36. Hearing Impaired
    • Oral instruction
      • Children taught speech and speech-reading from early age
      • Use of vestigial hearing emphasised
    • Often will use assistive technology to augment hearing
      • Hearing aids
      • FM, and soundfield systems
      • Cochlear implants
  • 37. Hearing Aids
    • With young children, be sure that batteries are functioning and that aid is adjusted correctly.
    • Encourage use. If child seems reluctant, be sure that aid is adjusted correctly.
    • Recognise that ambient noise will not be filtered.
    • Limit noise levels.
  • 38. Cochlear Implants
    • Optimally implanted in young children
    • Child will need to learn to use hearing—this is not automatic in a child who is not born with full hearing.
      • Work with technicians.
    • Not a cure-all for all children even if they are physically suitable for technology.
  • 39. Cochlear Implants, cont’d.
    • Again, ambient noise is a problem
    • Extend the same courtesies as for a speech-reading situation.
      • Person teaching child will emphasise his/her use of hearing, but your job is to teach. Encourage use of hearing, but make information available regardless.
  • 40. FM receiver
    • Teacher wears transmitter
    • Child has receiver and earphones or headset to hear teacher’s speech.
    • Great if teacher remembers to turn device on & off (don’t broadcast snarky asides).
    • Great if earphones work.
    • Cosmetically a bit problematic for kids.
    • Can’t hear rest of classmates.
  • 41. Amplification Technology not always effective
    • Hearing impairment is rarely the experience of total silence (it can be)
    • Sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to conductive hearing loss
    • Head noises
    • Alternatives to auditory hearing (is this what Evelyn’s refusal to use hearing aids is about?)
  • 42. Sign and its variants
    • True sign—ASL, LSQ, LSF, etc., are real languages, with distinctive syntax, grammars, dialects, and vocabularies
    • Signed English (and similar variants) use the vocabulary and syntax of their language of origin—they are a sort of pidgin
    • “ Total communication”—a combination of a Signed English and speech
    • Cued speech
  • 43. Signed Interpreter Courtesy
    • Speak to person for whom the interpretation is provided, not the interpreter.
    • Allow time for replies
    • In a classroom indicate who in group is speaking
  • 44. Other courtesies
    • Gain attention by waving or sometimes slapping or rapping table top
    • Recognise that touch is more part of communication than is typical in hearing culture, but don’t touch without being visible
  • 45. Speechreading
    • Can be very developed
    • Courtesy with a speech reader
      • Keep your mouth visible (Well, Duh!)
      • Don’t stand in front of light sources
    • Don’t over-articulate (try too hard)
    • Speak normally
    • Don’t talk to the blackboard…
    • Use gesture and facial expression
    • Stand close enough to be read
  • 46. Classroom Issues
    • Film—captioned is good, but only if student can read.
    • Slides likewise, and darkened room is a noncommunicative room for a student with limited hearing.
    • Noisy classroom will limit hearing.
    • Set up classroom so that student has option of seeing classmates.
  • 47.
    • Check for student comprehension –ask what a student understood, not whether. What did you understand, not Did you understand.
    • Make as much information visible as possible—bulletin boards, binders, models,…
    • Watch for fatigue, and encourage (not allow) breaks.
  • 48. Speech
    • Students who have been born with impairment or lost hearing early may have significant speech difficulties.
    • Be patient.
    • Recognise that speech impairment is not an indicator of lack of intelligence. Give student alternatives—print, type?
  • 49.
    • Collaborate with other professionals
    • Evaluation of learning will need adaptation.
    • Gym will need some adaptation.
  • 50.