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Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Resources for Students with Hearing Loss and Teachers During COVID-19

teacher instructs students in classroom wearing masksThe distance learning environment has presented a set of unique challenges for children with hearing loss. As we enter the fall academic year, we will all be learning how to compensate for these challenges in the most effective manner. It is recommended that parents communicate with their child’s school regarding these challenges and make appropriate changes to IEP and 504 Plans to reflect such accommodations. This process will require creativity and flexibility on everyone’s part. 

During in-class learning, official guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires that all teachers and all students and teachers at grade 2 and above are required to wear masks. The presence of masks creates a hindrance to the use of visual cues for understanding speech. Even children and adults with normal hearing rely on visual cues such as position of the lips and facial expressions to interpret speech. In difficult listening environments, such as cafeterias, gymnasiums and busy classrooms these cues are even more critical. 

Read below to find helpful information for students, parents and teachers, including techniques to minimize the impact of mask wearing, as well as how to create an online learning environment to best support student success. 

Resources for Teachers

Find tips and information for in-school and online learning during COVID-19.

Resources for Students and Parents

Find tips and information for in-school and online learning during COVID-19.

Additional Resources