Hearing impaired


Guidelines for teachers - Classes with one or more hearing impaired learners

Definition of terms:
Learner: student in non-formal education
Hearing impairment: low degree of hearing

The following 10 tips are guidelines to increase inclusive education for persons with hearing impairment. Focus is on creating a better basis for teachers in the adult non-formal education, so that they with awareness, a little creativity and small adjustments are able to include persons with hearing impairments in most classes.

The target group for these specific guidelines is teachers who have no specific training in teaching persons with hearing impairment. The guidelines are a first aid kit to get started and a source of inspiration.


If the learners have sign language as their mother tongue, we will refer to the guidelines for classes with one or more sign language users.

10 tips

1. A hearing impaired person is first and foremost a human being and should be treated like everybody else. From now on the hearing impaired learner is only referred to as “learner”!

2. Hearing impairment occurs differently. Before the course starts or as early as possible you need information from the learner about special considerations and needs. Make room for dialogue on beforehand and do not hesitate to ask questions.

3. Provide opportunities for lip reading.
Many rely on lip reading while they listen. If you need to write something on a flipchart or a whiteboard, then stop talking until you are facing the class again.

4. Speak clearly and not too fast. Try to speak in whole sentences and complete your entire sentence before you begin a new one. Incomplete and interposed phrases impede lip reading and may lead to misunderstandings.

5. Speak one at a time.
Always repeat any questions from the other learners, before answering.

6. Make sure that there always are good light conditions.
Pay attention to how the light falls in the room. Try to have light on face and mouth. The teacher should avoid standing in dark corners or in the bright light from AV equipment.

7. Group work can be difficult because often a lot of people are talking at the same time. Whenever possible group work should be held in separate rooms to avoid noise from other groups.

8. Make breaks.
Hearing impaired learner’s use many resources just to hear or read lips, and therefore they need many short breaks.

9. Avoid noisy surroundings from kitchen, construction, traffic, etc.

10. Technical aids.
For some learners, the use of assisting devices such as teleloop or FM microphone is a great help.

A teleloop system allows sound to be transmitted directly from the teacher’s microphone to the hearing aid (with a telecoil). This makes it possible for hearing aid user to attend the class without the distraction of background noise.
You can get mobile teleloop systems where you have to put an antenna round in the classroom. Some buildings have permanent teleloop systems installed.
When using teleloop the learner with hearing aid can only hear what is said in the microphone. So therefore any dialogue or discussion in the class requires that everybody talks into a microphone.

Remember to switch off the microphone during breaks. The learner can hear you, even if you leave the room!

FM microphone is a personal tool like a small remote control. The learner will either ask the speaker to wear the microphone or to put it on a table nearby. Some learners may have one or more "walking microphones" that can be used by the other learners in the class.


You can contact your national organisation with expertise in hearing impairment

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FM microphone

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