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?
Visual and Hearing Impairments EPSE 317
Not One, but Two Stories: Evelyn, 12, acquired profound sensorineural hearing impariment Donald, 9, loss of sight in right eye when 2, severe impairment in left eye
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
In fact, when her parents took her to the audiologist in Aberdeen, they learned that she was profoundly (not completely) deaf.
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.
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.
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.
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? …..
The new school also insisted that Evelyn wear hearing aids. She hated them, and took them out on every opportunity. What do you think?
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.
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
Moves head rather than eyes when reading Can’t see distant things clearly Has difficulty copying both near and far
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.
Vision impairments Lack of acuity Lack of clarity Lack of stability
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--
Challenges Availability of adapted materials Classroom set up Access to physical activity Meaningful evaluation and assessment
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
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
Safety stuff Understand and make sure students understand how to guide a blind person…. Don’t leave cupboards or drawers open.
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
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.
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
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 DEAF PEOPLE DO NOT REGARD THEMSELVES AS DISABLED.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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?
Collaborate with other professionals Evaluation of learning will need adaptation. Gym will need some adaptation.