Speech reading (lip reading) is one method of communication. At best, a deaf person can read only 30 to 40 percent of the sounds of spoken English by watching the speaker’s lips. Facial expression and gestures add somewhat to the level of comprehension. If you have a student who lip reads, you should
Deaf persons whose primary language is sign language may not have mastered the extensive vocabulary and grammatical subtleties of English – their “second language.” As a result, you may find non-standard English usage in their written expression and reading comprehension. It is appropriate when grading the written work of deaf students to focus more on content rather than grammatical usage and syntax. For this same reason, it may be necessary to clarify, rephrase or reformat written test questions.
Many deaf students can, and do, speak. Because deaf people cannot automatically control the tone and volume of their speech, the speech may be initially difficult to understand until one becomes more familiar with the deaf person’s speech.
Deaf students will also communicate in writing when other methods cannot be used effectively. You should not hesitate to write notes when necessary to communicate with a deaf student.
Deaf students may use the telephone through a TDD, a device which allows text communication over standard telephone lines. TDD’s are available for faculty to borrow from disAbled Student Support Services. A deaf student may also use the Georgia Relay Service, which relays telephone calls between a person who uses a TDD and any other telephone. The Relay Service operators are trained to communicate accurately and quickly while maintaining strictest confidentiality.
When you use the Relay Service, remember these points:
It is extremely difficult to write notes and watch an interpreter or lip read simultaneously. To insure that the student has access to accurate and complete notes, it is recommended that the student have two notetakers. Following is an announcement to assist you in identifying note takers in the class. The disAbled Student Support Services office will provide notetaking paper to facilitate the notetaking process. It is also helpful if you can provide a copy of lecture notes and overheads to the deaf student.
When the syllabus includes the use of videotapes, it is necessary to provide closed captioning or a transcript of the text. The University has closed caption decoders available to borrow for class. Videotapes can be close captioned by a professional service, provided the tapes can be available two months in advance. The disAbled Student Support Services office will transcribe the text of videotapes if a printed text is not available from the source.
have been asked to identify two volunteer notetakers in this class.
The notetakers will be provided with notetaking paper to facilitate the
process. This special paper provides a copy for the notetaker to
keep and a copy to share. Your notes will not reflect on your grade
in this course, but I may review the notes for accuracy before sharing
them with others. Please see me immediately after class if you are
willing to serve as a notetaker this semester.”
Other Communication Suggestions