Empower teachers to recognize hearing loss in the classroom and advocate for healthy listening practices.
Hearing loss can prevent children from fully participating in the classroom. On top of that, many young people listen to loud music through headphones or earbuds, putting them at risk for developing hearing loss later in life.
Educating teachers about hearing loss will enable them to assist hearing impaired students in the classroom and to encourage all students to make good hearing health decisions.
Provide teachers with information on how hearing loss adversely affects speech and language development and how to identify characteristics of hearing loss. Providing teachers with hearing loss demonstrations kits and information about the dangers of loud music (for example) could inspire teachers to introduce the topic of sound and hearing in the classroom.
Teachers at your local school might find these resources from Engage Education on supporting children with hearing loss helpful.
The UK's National Deaf Children's Society also has several resources for teachers, such as this pupil survey on good listening conditions in the classroom, this guide to deaf-friendly teaching, and this resource on supporting pupils with mild hearing loss.
In 2021, University College London launched an online deaf awareness course specifically for teachers. It's free and can be accessed here.
Educating teachers about the effects and signs of hearing loss can help ensure that no student's education is jeopardized due to an unrecognized hearing loss.
Greater awareness among teachers can help contribute to better partnerships between educators, educational audiologists, and speech-language therapists.
Equipped with information and materials, teachers can become ambassadors for hearing health. Lessons on the science of sound can both be a lot of fun and help young people understand the dangers of loud noises and unsafe listening behaviors.