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Strategies to Prevent Visual Split-Attention with Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

By Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Information, Research

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One of the challenges that teachers face in teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing is how to manage visual split-attention in the classroom. When a teacher is presenting information using visual supports (e.g., utilizing an interpreter, writing on the blackboard, giving a PowerPoint presentation), learners have no choice but to divide their visual attention. This webinar will cover the differences between auditory-oriented classrooms and visually oriented classroom and the impact of visual split-attention on cognitive overload and working memory· Shifting attention between visual fields in the classroom· Strategies to reduce the effect of split-attention in various types of classroom situations.

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Deaf children need language, not (just) speech

By Information, Research

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children need to master at least one language (spoken or signed) to reach their full potential. Providing access to a natural sign language supports this goal. Despite evidence that natural sign languages are beneficial to DHH children, many researchers and practitioners advise families to focus exclusively on spoken language. We critique the Pediatricsarticle ‘Early Sign Language Exposure and Cochlear Implants’ (Geers et al., 2017) as an example of research that makes unsupported claims against the inclusion of natural sign languages. We refute claims that (1) there are harmful effects of sign language and (2) that listening and spoken language are necessary for optimal development of deaf children. While practical challenges remain (and are discussed) for providing a sign language-rich environment, research evidence suggests that such challenges are worth tackling in light of natural sign languages providing a host of benefits for DHH children – especially in the prevention and reduction of language deprivation.

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