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Building Block Four: Technology

For a quick visual reference guide to this content,
check out the Classroom Accessibility Guide Infographic

Many students who are Deaf and hard of hearing who use spoken language benefit from group and personal amplification systems that amplify the voice of the teacher and/or other students while reducing background noise. In this way, students who access spoken language receive better voice to background noise ratio and better access to the language used in the classroom.

Soundfield systems are portable sound systems that use microphones and loudspeakers to provide even sound coverage within a classroom. They can also interact with students’ personal hearing aids. The soundfield system:

  • maximizes vocal input
  • increases potential for accessing speech
  • monitors speaker’s own voice
  • increases ease while listening
  • increases seating options
  • decreases fatigue

Access for the classroom can also provide access to other areas of the school and include:

  • assistive technology tied into the PA system in:
    • all classrooms
    • all offices
    • the library
    • the gym
    • the auditorium
    • school assemblies
    • extracurricular activities and school trips
  • text- and video-creating technologies for teacher-student and student-student interactions, such as:
  • smartphones and tablet computers using
    • Skype
    • ooVoo
    • certain types of apps
  • face-to-face communication technology
  • UbiDuo emergency notification systems

These technologies can be most effective when there are:

  • equipment checklists
  • onsite maintenance of technology
    • check daily
      • hearing aids
      • amplification systems
      • cochlear implants, etc.
  • identified individual(s) responsible for all equipment:
    • hearing aids and cochlear implants
    • amplification systems
    • onsite backup for all amplification
    • other communication devices
    • maintenance of back-up equipment
    • repairs
    • checking equipment every day
    • using audio sound meter
      • to ensure noise levels are appropriate for learning
  • School Board Language Accessibility Policy

CHS provides Accessibility Consulting support to schools and other organizations. Learn more about CHS Accessibility Consulting here.
We offer a wide variety of products that enhance communication and safety for Canadians who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Visit Shop CHS today.

Creating A First Language Acquisition Environment

To acquire language in a school setting is a complex task for late first language learners. But with support from schools and teachers through the creation of an appropriate learning environment with access to language, children can access instruction, the curriculum and have meaningful interactions.

In addition to a physical space, a language acquisition environment would include:

  • an extensive amount of child-directed language from and interaction with fluent signers
  • numerous specialized professional resources who:
    • are fluent signers
    • understand language acquisition
    • understand the implications of having passed the critical first language acquisition period
    • are particularly cognizant of the lifelong negative effects of not acquiring a first language in the early years
  • a school board commitment that children who have been deprived of language during the critical language acquisition period will be given the opportunity to acquire a first language at school

Cautions here include:

  • having only one language model may limit the progress of language acquisition
  • using individuals who are not fluent in the language the child is learning may decrease potential for learning a first language
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