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E-learning creates challenges for deaf and hard of hearing students

(Source: KOLN).
(Source: KOLN).(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Mar. 29, 2020 at 9:48 PM CDT
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Right now, many teachers all over the state are figuring out how to teach their students online. It's something that isn't easy, especially for those students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

And as classes start back up again online the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing says it's important deaf students don't fall behind.

"We want to make sure that the students all get the right opportunity because if they don't have the support and they fall behind, it's going to take a lot longer to get everyone caught up next year or the year after that,” said executive director, John Wyvill.

Wyvill says his office has already helped multiple families who have reached out because they were having troubles figuring out the easiest way to transition to the online learning.

He says one of the biggest problems right now with online learning is that most teachers are turning to video chat to communicate with their students.

"If there is a video delay, it may effect the video quality, if there is a sign language interpreter that is signing, it could have difficulty freezing up,” said Wyvill.

Other than delays and low quality video and audio, students are no longer in class with interpreters, and don't have the technology for amplification.

"You have to rely on technology working effectively, and a tremendous amount of stress for the students the parents and the teachers and also concern for their physical well being, along with the adjustment,” said Wyvill.

Wyvill says the number one thing to remember during this challenging time is that communication is extremely important. And for those families who are having troubles, he wants you to know they can help.

"There's other resources out there to help you and we're just trying to put them together,” said Wyvill.

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