Tips for College Students with Hearing Loss

Are you thinking of going to college? While universities and college deadlines differ, most deadlines are coming up in early February. With a hope and a dream get ready to send off those applications! Whether you are just out of high school or hoping to invest in a new career, college is a time to grow and expand our minds intellectually as well as emotionally. To get the most out of your experience it’s best to be prepared. If you have hearing loss there are few more things to consider in order to get the most out of your education.

Take Advantage of Accommodations

Living with hearing loss can be challenging at times, but with the right tools you can have an equal footing in class and testing. This has all become easier in past decades, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which is in place, among other things, to help protect and support students in all stages of the academic process. This means more programs, tools, resources and support staff in colleges and universities across the country. Chances are likely that if the colleges you are applying for are accredited, they will have an extensive array of tools to help you learn and succeed. However, you have to be open from the start in order to take advantage of these tools and opportunities. That means letting your school know ahead of time about your disability.

Get to know your school’s disability services

Once you’ve been accepted and chosen the best option for you, your first step should be to check in with your college’s Disabilities Services office. While the name of this office varies from school to school, this is where you will find specialized services and personnel to help you connect with the resources to help you learn. Aside from assistive listening devices, interpreters, tutors and more, they may also offer support groups. This is a great way to connect to others with similar experience, so you don’t feel alone in your struggle as you get used to a whole new school and environment.

Acquaint yourself with your professors

After you’ve been accepted, a guidance counselor can help you sign up for the right classes in par with your desired field of study. Once you’ve signed up for your classes, the next step is to reach out to your professors. Tell them about your impairment, and any things that have worked for you in the past to aid in your learning. Chances are you are not the first student they’ve taught with hearing loss. They may have ideas of their own that have been successful for people similar to you and your learning needs. When class starts, they’ll already be prepared with materials to help you succeed in class.

Choose the best seat

On the first day, so much about succeeding in class is making sure you have all the tools to hear your best. This means picking a seat front and center. This way you can take advantage of visual cues from the instructor such as lip reading, body language and facial expression. Avoid open windows or by the door, where sounds could distract you from hearing.

Get your hearing tested right before your first class.

You may be well aware of your hearing loss, but hearing does change over time. To make sure your hearing aids or assistive listening devices are programmed optimally to help you hear, it’s a good idea to schedule a hearing exam just before the start of the new school semester. Give yourself a few weeks, in the instance that you do require new hearing aids, and some time to adjust to them. In other cases, a simple adjustment to your hearing aid program might just be all you need to make sure you are able to get the most out of your first days at school. With amplified hearing you can ensure that you will have equal footing in all your educational endeavors to help you secede. Don’t hesitate in contacting us today for your next hearing exam. We have all the resources to help you excel in this next school year!