Question: Can you include learners with hearing impairments in mainstream classrooms? 

Answer: Yes. Learners who can speak, even if their hearing is limited, can learn in most classrooms. If they use sign language, they may need to be in a specialised class.  

Learners who have hearing loss may be partially or totally deaf in one or both ears. It may not be obvious that they have a hearing impairment. Look out for learners who struggle to hear what you are saying, or who don’t participate readily in noisy groups.  

When speaking to learners with hearing impairments: 

  • wave or gently touch their shoulder to get their attention 
  • make and keep eye contact with the learner 
  • move to a quieter spot if it is noisy 
  • stand in a well-lit area 
  • speak clearly so that the learner can see and read your lips 
  • use big facial expressions. 

How can you accommodate learners with hearing impairments in your classroom?


Hearing impairments: Not being able to hear or having limited hearing because of ear problems.  

Mainstream: The standard system of state school education which most learners participate in.   

Sign language: A system of hand and body movements representing words and phrases.