Accommodations for Deaf Students by Teachers, Research Paper Example
Words: 1529Research Paper
There are more and more students coming into our school systems with some sort of disability. This disability could be anything from ADHD to students with hearing disabilities or who are completely deaf. The problem here is that many teachers are not making the right accommodations for deaf students that need to be made in order for these students to succeed academically. In the public school system, teachers need to have the proper abilities to teach students who are hard of hearing or who are completely deaf if the parents so choose for their children to attend a public school that is not for the hearing impaired. Deaf students spend the majority of their learning attempting to lip read rather than actually learning the material needed to pass the course. Teachers need to be making accommodations for deaf students in order for them to receive a better education. However, this is not happening in our school systems because teachers either do not have the skills to do so or they do not have the time. The public school system needs to provide more time and better training for teachers who teach deaf children. This project will take place specifically in the public school system so that we, as a community, are able to figure out what the problems are and how they can be resolved in order for these students to get the education that they deserve. The main question is: How are teachers supposed to accommodate deaf children in their classrooms so that these individuals can succeed academically?
Background and Significance of the Problem
Teachers spend so much time with their students as a whole, but do not seem to have enough time for them individually. With deaf or hard of hearing students, it is much more necessary to have that one-on-one participation with the teachers. Deaf or hard of hearing students not only need special accommodations in reference to one-on-one instruction with their teachers, but also need the same when they are taking tests. These students should be given the accommodations needed in order to succeed in their coursework. According to Stephanie W. Cawthon (2006), “accommodations can refer to a range of changes to test administration and test content; they are designed to remove factors that penalize students because of their disability, resulting in assessment scores that do not represent their content knowledge” (338). It is important that the test measures the student’s content knowledge and not the actual ability to take the test (Cawthon, 2006, 338). One thing that is important to note, however, is that deaf or hard of hearing students need the accommodations in elementary school as well as junior high and high school. Cawthon (2006) states that “the authors suggest that differences between elementary and junior high school accommodations use to be due, in part, to the fact that elementary-grade students tend to have one teacher, whereas middle school students are served by multiple teachers” (341). This should not be the case. These students need help throughout their academic careers and all teachers should be trained to help them in every aspect. Some of the main accommodations that are made for deaf or hard of hearing students include extended time, out-of-level testing, and read aloud (Cawthon, 2006, 342-343). Susan R. Easterbrooks and Brenda Stephenson (2006) state that making accommodations for deaf or hard of hearing students are of utmost importance. They believe, along with Dry and Earle (1998), that there are things in which the teachers and administration can do in order to help these students like their school work and be able to succeed academically (386). Some of these things include “giving students time to read books of their own choosing, allowing students to enjoy good books and stories at many different levels, allowing students time to find their own levels and discard books they become disinterested in while encouraging them to find other books, having students keep a simple record of reading, and stating broad reading goals openly” (Easterbrooks and Stephenson, 2005, 386). Phonemic awareness and phonics are also ways in which the teachers and parents can accommodate deaf or hard of hearing students. According to Easterbrooks and Stephenson (2006), “While deafness per se does not preclude phonemic awareness ability (Miller, 1997), some students who are deaf or hard of hearing tend to develop it more readily than others, and phonemic awareness skills correlate with overall reading ability” (387). Finally, it is important for deaf or hard of hearing students to be able to draw inferences in order to achieve academically. “Students should be allowed the time to draw these inferences and to comprehend what they are reading. Brown and Brewer (1996) compared hearing and deaf readers matched for reading level and found that comprehension increased when students drew inferences while reading” (Easterbrooks and Stephenson, 2006, 388). Accommodations are necessary for the successfulness of deaf and hard of hearing students. We can see that in the literature. However, not enough time is being taken to make these accommodations and stick to them from elementary through high school.
Nature of the Problem
In all reality, the problem here is that teachers need to be able to accommodate students throughout their scholastic careers and there are not enough teachers that are actually doing this or actually trained to do this. According to Susanne Reed, Shirin D. Antia, and Kathryn H. Kreimeyer (2008), “approximately 85% of all DHH students in the United States are educated in public school programs with 43% spending most of the school day in general education classrooms” (485). “Variables that professionals identified as contributing to the success of these students were good family support, student determination to succeed, and an outgoing personality. Professionals also believed that exposure to the general education curriculum and high expectations on the part of teachers contributed to success” (Reed, Antia, and Kreimeyer, 2008, 486). Also, Reed, Antia, and Kreimeyer state the following:
classroom factors promoting success for students with disabilities (including students who are DHH) include amount of classroom time devoted to the academic curriculum, teacher attitudes toward inclusion, teacher support of peer relationships, relationships between general educators and special educators that are based on respect of each other’s roles and competencies, special education assistance that is not disruptive and takes into account the culture and practices of general education classroom, and clarity and flexibility of teacher and paraprofessional roles and responsibilities (486).
The problem still remains, however. These students need more and educators have to be willing to provide them with this help.
Purpose of the Project
Our deaf or hard of hearing students need more accommodations and more teachers who are willing to educate themselves in order to help these students succeed from elementary school all the way through high school. The purpose of this project is to discuss the accommodations already made for deaf or hard of hearing students, find ways in which to help teachers educate themselves on how to teach these students, and to help teachers learn how to accommodate these students in the classroom learning environment as well as on standardized tests so that it shows the content knowledge rather than the skill knowledge. These students do not have to prove they know how to take a test; they need to be able to prove that they understand the content of what they are learning on a daily basis. Teachers can help them do this, but it is important for them to know how to do this. They need more education as well and this project will help them understand what they need to do as teachers. Finally, “personnel shortages must be addressed: A teacher and leadership void in university and K-12 program will occur if training efforts are not increased” (Andrews and Covell, 2006, 464).
Listed below are a few of the research questions that should be discussed for this project.
- 1. How will we educate and train teachers to help DHH students?
- 2. How will teachers accommodate DHH students in order to help them achieve success?
- 3. What can the Board of Education do in order to help students with DHH?
- 4. How are we going to use standardized tests to understand what DHH students actually know?
- 5. How can we make a change for these students in order for them to succeed in their academic lives?
Andrews, J. F., & Covell, J. A. (2006). Preparing future teachers and doctoral-level leaders in
deaf education: Meeting the challenge. American Annals of the Deaf, 151(5), 464-475. Retrieved from dept.lamar.edu/cofac/deptdeaf/jandrews/46._Preparing_Leaders.pdf
Cawthon, S. W. (2006). National survey of accommodations and alternate assessments for
students who are deaf or hard of hearing in the United States. Walden University, 11(3), 337-359. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enj040
Easterbrooks, S. R., & Stephenson, B. (2006). An examination of twenty literacy, science, and
mathematics practices used to educate students who are deaf or hard of hearing. American Annals of the Deaf, 151(4), 385-397. Retrieved from www.dcmp.org/caai/NADH209.pdf
Reed, S., Antia, S. D., & Kreimeyer, K. H. (2008). Academic status of deaf and hard-of-hearing
students in public schools: Student, home, and service facilitators and detractors. University of Arizona, Tucson, 13(4), 485-502. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enn006
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