The University of Bolton Student Services

Disability Services

Inclusive Teaching Strategies for D/deaf and students with Hearing Impairments



Students with Hearing Impairments: How to assist lip readers.

  • Don’t exaggerate words.
  • Don’t block your mouth e.g. with your hand, a pen – beards and moustaches can also be a drawback!  Stop talking if you have to turn away.
  •  Keep background noise to a minimum – it interferes with hearing aids.
  • (Rooms with carpets and curtains can help.)
  •  Repeat contributions/questions from other students.
  •  In group work, indicate when different people are speaking.
  •  Stand in a good light – not in front of a window.
  •  Speak directly to the class, not to the board or screen.
  • A room with plain walls is best – patterns are distracting.
  •  Wear plain clothes for the same reason.
  •  Stand where the student is most likely to be able to follow your lecture.
  •  Don’t wander around the lecture room.
  •  Don’t use exaggerated gestures – they distract from your face.
  •  Speak clearly, in a normal speech rhythm, and a little more slowly.


BSL: Students Using a BSL Interpreter:

  • Provide good lighting for the interpreter any time a presentation requires darkening the room to view slides or films.
  • Allow only one person to speak at a time during group discussions.
  • Do not rush through a lecture, tutorial or practical.
  • Allow time for students to study handouts, charts or transparencies. A deaf person cannot watch the interpreter and study written information at the same time.
  • Ensure that the student and interpreter are seated at the front of the class so that there are no distractions.
  • Face the deaf student and speak directly to the deaf person, not the interpreter and speak to them in a normal manner.
  • Do not make comments to the interpreter you do not wish to be interpreted to the deaf student.
  • Remember that the interpreter is a few words behind the speaker. Give the interpreter time to finish before you ask questions so that the deaf student can ask questions or join in the discussion.