For a student who is deaf or hearing impaired their impairment could range from mild to profound and can be conductive, (resulting from impairment to the outer or middle ear), sensorineural, (resulting from impairment to the inner ear), or a combination of both.
Students who are deaf or hearing impaired can be affected in different ways. With regards to communication; students who are deaf or hearing impaired may lip-read, use sign language, or a combination of these. A student who uses Auslan as a first language of communication may have difficulty with the grammatical and syntactical structure of English, and may have a limited vocabulary. Some deaf students may also have speech disorders. For lectures and tutorials a student with a hearing impairment may have a notetaker or an interpreter in Auslan and may be using some form of amplification devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implant or an FM system.
Some people with profound hearing loss prefer to be referred to as deaf rather than hearing impaired. They see this as a positive identity rather than a negative label.
The resource Teaching Students who have hearing impairment contains information on:
- The impact of hearing impairment on learning at university
- Communicating with students with hearing impairment
- Teaching students with a hearing impairment
- Assessment strategies