Students with hearing loss

How to support students with hearing loss in your club or society


  • Group calls and meetings can be tricky to see everyone and follow who is speaking and where to look. You could put people into smaller breakout rooms, don’t have too many participants or check that they understood and could lip read okay.
  • Microsoft teams CC option is very distracting and often not accurate. Often students would rather see the speaker so they know who is speaking.
  • Live sessions are high pressure to lip read accurately and in time, record them if you can.
  • Closed caption all videos.
  • Write it down, this could be via the chat box on a zoom call.

In person

** Please adhere to uea(su) and government guidelines for any in person activity **

  • Face the person when you speak to them, don’t have your hands or objects like pens near your mouth or chewing gum/eating.
  • If they have unilateral deafness, stand on their ‘better’ ear hearing side.
  • With meetings, check that they are sat close enough to see your face and mouth. Try to be at eye level and sit down too.
  • Don’t walk and talk, try and sit down opposite each other.
  • Don’t talk to and write on the ‘board/wall’ at the same time. Write then talk. It’s hard enough to follow without not being able to see your mouth.
  • Don’t shout or over exaggerate the lip patterns. Screaming and yawning look the same. Ingroup chats, make it clear who is speaking so they can follow it. Don’t speak all at once and don’t whisper to each other because they will still be able to read/get it.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Loud bangs, claps, fireworks can be really startling especially for hearing aid users.
  • Be clear: especially with directions and point/gesture.
  • If you don’t understand- ask them to write it down or speak again.
  • Write it down- have pen and paper or notes app on your phone.
  •  Don’t say ‘it doesn’t matter’ ‘I’ll tell you later’ ‘you’re not missing anything’ ‘its not important’.


If you would like to learn some basic British Sign Language, head over to UEA BSL youtube channel HERE

You can download an infographic of the above information HERE