Classroom Interpreting

Parents - How will my child access communication at school?

Children who are deaf or hard of hearing—whether they’re signers or talkers—will face challenges in accessing communication in the world around them. As parents, it’s our job to assure this access until our kids are old enough to become their own advocates. We need a plan. So parents, teachers and other professionals working with the student (even the student joins this endeavor as a teenager) must come together at least once a year to develop an Individual Education Program (IEP) for the student. The IEP will specify a plan for communication access designating any number of appropriate supports, including an educational interpreter. In the school setting, educational interpreters can serve a very necessary function in relaying voiced communication and sound information to a child with a hearing loss. The goal is full and effective communication access that results in shared meaning.

"A is for Access” by Hands & Voices National, Copyright 2005

Cheryl DeConde Johnson, Ed.D., "Full and effective communication access means that you can receive and express language and communicate with your teachers, with your parents, with the peers that you have, with your social group, in a way that not only allows you to access what they're saying--in other words that it's there--but that you have the language skills to understand and think about what's being said so that you can be thoughtful about how you respond."

"A is for Access” by Hands & Voices National, Copyright 2005

Susan Dickinson, M.A., Certified Teacher of the Deaf, "Communication access means there are opportunities to get the conversation that's going on over here. I want access to that. I want to be able to pick up what language is used, what things people have to say...environmental noise, bells, that kind of thing. All of it. Any sounds that help hearing people understand what's happening in the environment--that's communication access. It can be noise, it can be language, it can be signing, it can be background noise. All of it!"