How to Cope at College if Hearing Impaired

If you’re hearing impaired and have decided to go to college to study, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do just as well as, if not better than, your non-hearing impaired classmates. However, there are a few study tips you can follow to ensure that you get the best you possibly can out of your classes. 

*Find out your entitlements

There is almost certainly some kind of assistance that you can tap into while you are at college. This could include a note-taker for lectures and seminars, or, if necessary, a signer. You will probably be offered these entitlements anyway, but always ask if you are not. You may feel that this kind of help is not strictly necessary, but it can be of great help to be able to compare your own notes with that of a note-taker. 

*Join a support group

Find out about any support groups that exist in your college. You may want to show that you can be totally independent most of the time, but it can sometimes be very supportive to know that there are people with whom you can share your experiences and go to if you have any major problems. You can also share tips and strategies for coping and find out about any special equipment that the college can provide for free. 

*Record lectures

Whether you have someone taking notes for you or not, it may be useful for you to record lectures so that you can play them back in your own time. This way, if you miss anything, you can pick it up when you listen back. Speak to your lecturer about recording the lecture so that they are aware; then they can make a concerted effort to ensure that they don’t continually wander away from the recorder. 

*Sit near the front of the class

If you need to be as near the front of the class as possible in order to hear clearly or be able to lip-read well, but don’t want to make a big deal about it, then make sure you are always early for your class so that you can pick your seat. Otherwise, it is worth letting people know that you need to sit near the front so that they will save you a place. 

*Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Always ask for help if you need it. You may prefer to blend in with the rest of the class as far as possible, but there may be times when you need some extra help on top of what the college already provides. An extra tutorial with your lecturer once a semester may be of great support. Again, you may want to be as independent as possible, but sometimes, asking for help can ensure that you stay that way. 

*Prepare for classes in advance

It will always be of great help to you if you have done the reading and preparation for classes in advance. This way, the lectures will simply be reiterating what you already know and you will find it a lot easier to digest – and even if you do miss a bit of the lecture, you probably already know it anyway. The more time you put into preparing, the less time you will struggle trying to piece things together afterwards. 

Having a hearing impairment does not need to restrict you a great deal while at college. You almost certainly have developed your own ways of coping anyway, and when accepting as much help from the college as you can get, you are in a strong position to do brilliantly in your studies.