Effects of Face Coverings and Remote Microphone Technology on Speech Perception in the Classroom
Many schools are facing critical decisions in the age of COVID-19, including how best to facilitate learning while wearing personal protective equipment, such as face coverings. Children, especially children who are deaf or hard of hearing (dhh), are entitled to quality access to auditory information for speech perception and learning—even when their teachers are wearing face coverings. This white paper addresses the question of how and to what degree face coverings (with and without remote microphone technology) are affecting speech perception in the classroom. It is important for all teachers, especially for those who work with children who are dhh, to consider the listening environment for any particular child in their classroom. It is our hope that this research will contribute to ongoing considerations for supporting student learning in the time of coronavirus.
Expressive Vocabulary Development in Very Young Children who are Deaf of Hard of Hearing
This longitudinal study aimed to explore the expressive vocabulary growth rate of children ages birth to three years, who are deaf or hard of hearing (d/hh). An additional aim was to investigate hours of direct instruction received during early intervention as a factor that may contribute to the trajectories of expressive vocabulary growth in young children who are d/hh. Hierarchical linear modeling with growth curve analysis was used to investigate expressive vocabulary growth in a population of d/hh children using multiple points of longitudinal vocabulary data. A total of 417 assessments across the 105 participants were analyzed to determine the average rate of growth and to construct expected growth trajectories based on the amount of intervention services received prior to age three. Results indicated positive linear growth trajectories with an average growth rate of 4.75 new words expressed per week (approximately 19 words per month) for a child identified as d/hh by six months of age with no additional diagnoses and who received four hours of intervention per week. This growth rate was less than what can be expected for typically-hearing children. Additional hours of intervention positively contributed to expressive vocabulary rates for children under three years of age. This study recommends increased hours of intervention prior to age three which exceed current intervention guidelines.
Effects of Frequency of Early Intervention on Spoken Language and Literacy Levels of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Preschool and Elementary School
Language delays associated with hearing loss during infancy may have a negative impact on academic development throughout childhood. Early intervention provided by the Moog Center for Deaf Education prior to 36 months of age was quantified, and associations with later outcomes were examined for 50 students who are DHH representing Moog Center alumni. The objective was to determine whether the amount of early intervention (referred to hereafter as dose of early intervention received at the Moog Center during the time children were 0-36 months of age) contributed uniquely to outcomes in preschool (4–6 years) and in elementary school (8–14 years). Analysis of language and reading outcomes concluded that greater doses of early intervention were beneficial, even when other contributing factors such as degree of hearing loss, nonverbal intelligence, and age at first intervention were taken into account. Those children with poor aided speech perception scores in preschool exhibited the most benefit from early intensive intervention. Average language scores were within the expected range in comparison with hearing peers in preschool and remained within expectation when assessed an average of four years later in elementary school. The intensity of early intervention provided at the Moog Center contributed significantly to long-term development of language and literacy over and above the benefits associated with the age at which intervention was delivered.