Hearing impairment presents a "major barrier" to children seeking to succeed in mainstream education, according to a new report from the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center in the US.
Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Public Input Summary was unveiled on June 10th, and outlines the barriers that hearing loss presents to children in the educational environment from birth to the age of 21.
More than 1,400 comments from 775 participants in the US education system form the basis of the report, which drew four main themes and identified five major barriers to education for children suffering from hearing impairment.
These barriers were: a lack of knowledge and education about children with hearing loss among professionals, caregivers and the public; a lack of collaboration between these groups; unqualified professionals and service providers; a lack of accommodation in the school system and not enough focus on the child's self-development.
"Common themes emerge regardless of background and context - this is powerful information for people to consider when planning their programs and services, serving students, identifying priorities and needs, and seeking resources," said Dr Sue Jacoby, the executive director of Planning, Development, and Dissemination at the ClercCenter.
Colleague Ed Bosso added that the report provides a "pulse" on deaf education and will help the ClercCenter identify and develop "high-impact strategies" for dealing with the impact of hearing impairment on students.