Onboarding a Facilitator for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
There are a diverse number of special education services that can be provided via telepractice, including those for students who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH). In order to provide services via telepractice a facilitator on the student’s side is essential. The facilitator will create the learning environment and support the teacher with any tasks needed. Finding and onboarding the right facilitator for these students to support DHH teletherapy sessions can be challenging, but Teachers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing can facilitate this process. The school district will determine which staff members would be available to facilitate a DHH session. Facilitators may be interpreters, paraprofessionals, special education teachers, or administrators. DHH teachers can provide guidance when selecting and onboarding facilitators to enable students to fully access the lessons and be successful in their teletherapy sessions.
Each student will need a different level of support from a facilitator depending on their age, IEP goals, and listening and language abilities. Once a facilitator has been appointed to you, then use the following tips to train the facilitator to provide adequate support during your DHH teletherapy session.
Who to consider for supporting a DHH teacher
School districts can consider the following when choosing a facilitator to support a DHH teacher:
- The student’s sign language interpreter or any paraprofessional with the student in the classroom.
- A teacher that has contact with the DHH student (special education or regular education).
- An identified DHH facilitator that will facilitate all DHH sessions in the district or per building. This can be any staff member that is dedicated to all DHH teletherapy session facilitation
Onboarding a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Facilitator
Below are some useful onboarding tips for DHH facilitators:
- Support in finding a quiet setting with minimal to no distractions.
- Teach the facilitator how to use the student’s personal and school provided amplification devices. Review and provide the facilitator with troubleshooting information to fix common amplification issues.
- Discuss the positioning of the student and facilitator with the video and audio technology. The DHH teacher needs to be able to see and hear the student and the facilitator during the session.
- Practice voice, physical and visual cues with the facilitator. The facilitator should be sitting next to the student so they can see and hear information that is being presented to the student and to allow for verbal repetition or sign language interpretation. This positioning will also enable the facilitator to provide assistance with any hands-on activities or to help you take data by vocalizing correct/incorrect answers.
- Discuss the use of any games, hands-on materials, the printing of any learning materials you send ahead of time, etc. to be sure the facilitator knows what to bring to each session.
DHH Facilitators for Successful Teletherapy Sessions
Using a facilitator that fits your students’ needs and providing adequate onboarding ahead of time will allow your DHH teletherapy session to go smoothly. Teletherapy provides schools with an option for providing much needed DHH services to students. Facilitators are important partners in providing DHH services via teletherapy. Adequately providing them with onboarding ensures a smooth DHH session.
If your school district needs help with selecting a facilitator or is interested in learning more about teletherapy services, click here to learn more.
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