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Supporting students in face to face teaching sessions


  • Provide copies of lecture notes and handouts in advance. This gives deaf and hard of hearing students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the structure and content of the session, helping them to follow the material in class.
  • Check that any audio/video materials have captioning, subtitles or a written transcript available, and provide these materials in advance. This will make it easier for students to process the information in the lecture. Some deaf and hard of hearing students may also wish to make alternative arrangements to view these materials with a support worker.
  • If you are asking students to refer to handouts, please leave time for deaf and hard of hearing students to read these before continuing to speak.
  • Teaching material provided in advance also alerts students to new vocabulary. Unknown words can be difficult to lip-read, so a glossary of new terms in advance will help all the students get the most from the lecture.
  • Familiarise yourself with the assistive technology available in the room. Test any equipment to make sure it is working well and switched on for the lecture. Read further information about the assistive listening technology available on campus.
  • Make sure you are using the microphone correctly, where available.
  • At the start of the lecture outline the structure of the session, indicating what you will be covering. Refer back to this during the lecture, as this will help students to follow the content, argument, discussion etc.
  • Write any important information on the board e.g. room changes, cancellations, assessment dates.
  • Deaf and hard of hearing students may try to place themselves at the front of lectures and classes so they can hear you better and/or lip-read.
  • Try to stay in the same place and avoid walking around while you are talking to help those students who might be lip-reading.
  • Repeat any audience questions in your answer as these may not be heard by deaf and hard of hearing students.
  • Students may have a note taker or other type of support worker attend the session, be aware that the student may want this additional support to be discreet i.e. their note taker may sit in another part of the room.
  • Avoid asking students with hearing loss to read aloud in classes, unless you know they are confident doing so.

Group Work

  • Deaf and hard of hearing students can only lip-read one person at a time so group work can be extremely difficult to follow and participate in.
  • The maximum recommended size for group work including a deaf or hard of hearing student is 10 students.
  • Consider adjusting the layout of the room so that there is an unobstructed line of vision for all participants as much as possible. Sitting in a semi-circle shape will help deaf or hard of hearing students identify more easily who is speaking, providing a better opportunity to lip-read.
  • Ensure that the session is well led, with clear communication principles explained to the group from the start and reiterated when necessary throughout the session.
  • Try not to have more than one person speaking at once and ask the speaker to identify themselves e.g. by raising their hand so it is clear who is speaking, to aid lip-reading.

  Laboratory Work, Demonstrations and Tutorials

  • Do not stand behind the student when they are working or when you are giving an explanation, for example, during computer work. They may be relying heavily on lip-reading.
  • The student may not be able to watch what you are doing and listen at the same time. Take time to explain what you are about to demonstrate. Give the student time to observe and leave any additional comments until you have completed the visual demonstration.
  • Provide written instructions to support any practical work.
  • Ensure that you have the attention of the student when teaching points arise.