Teaching Remotely to Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
As schools are implementing remote strategies to provide educational services, it is imperative that accessibility for students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) is addressed as lessons are being planned. Whether instruction is being provided off-line with packets of assignments or online in a virtual environment, lack of accessibility will mean DHH students will not have equal access to instruction, as is required in IDEA. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, as well as specific resources for helping to implement.
All videos, real time learning sessions, and pre-recorded learning sessions need to be captioned. To learn more about pre-captioned resources as well as tools and instructions for captioning, visit our collection of captioning information. *While sessions and videos must be captioned, it is important to know that this alone may not provide accessibility for all students who are deaf/hard of hearing, especially those whose reading level is below 5th grade.
Students who have interpreting as an accommodations in their IEP have access to interpreters in their school districts. Those interpreters need to provide interpreting for real-time instruction, pre-recorded instruction, and may also provide sight translation assistance for packets of assignments. For how-to resources on creating accessible videos, visit our collection of instructions in written and video formats.
In a situation where the interpreters are not able to interpret during real-time instruction, the student can use a Video Relay Service (VRS). HOWEVER, the student must use VRS equipment or software to see the interpreter, as the interpreter is not visible through Zoom. Instructions on using VRS to access a video conference have been provided in ASL.
Considerations for Video Conferencing
When connecting with students through video conferencing, keep in mind the quality of sound, background noise, lighting, visual distraction, and the placement of the camera, as well as captioning and/or interpreting. To learn more about information about ensuring remote learning is accessible, visit our collection of remote learning accessibility information.
Ideas for connecting with other Educators serving DHH Students
- Collaborate with deaf ed teachers in your school, district, state through email, social media groups, or communities of practice. If you are a teacher in a general education classroom, it is imperative that you connect with the deaf ed teacher who is serving your student(s)!
- Share resources you find on social media and tag them (e.g., #dcdcec.org #deafed).
- Use your favorite social media app and search for groups.
- Join the DHH Teaching During COVID-19 nation-wide Facebook group.
- Visit DCD-CEC on our social media accounts and become friends with our followers.
- Facebook: @dcdcec.org
- Twitter: @dcd_cec
- Visit the DCD website!
Information compiled by the Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing in collaboration with the Texas Sensory Support Network, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services. For additional information about providing virtual services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, visit our Virtual Learning Livebinder.