Classroom Interpreters - Interpreters and Children - Evaluating an Interpreted Education
An Audiogram Does Not Determine Need for Interpreting
An audiogram is only a rough approximation of what a person can hear in a quiet sound booth in a perfect listening condition. Classrooms are far from ideal listening environments; they are noisy, have multiple speakers from many directions, and there are hard surfaces and a lot of reverberation. For a student listening through a hearing aid, there may be some situations where he/she can function fine with listening alone. But there may easily be situations where a student with a lot usable hearing cannot hear well enough to function adequately. One cannot determine whether a student needs an interpreter by looking at an audiogram alone.
Some of the factors that can affect how well a student with a hearing loss can function are shown below.
The services of an educational interpreter can benefit students who are hard of hearing, not just those who are deaf. The educational team should conduct a functional listening assessment, developed by Johnson and Von Almon, which tries to replicate a variety of listening environments.
This evaluation can help the educational team determine whether the student can access a specific situation through listening alone, which is essential to deciding whether a student needs an interpreter.