As the FDA continues to approve cochlear implants (CIs) at younger ages, school systems are tasked with the need to provide for these students’ special needs. CIs are medical devices that bypass the damaged or nonfunctioning parts of the ear to create a representation of sound for the user.
Most children with CIs are in mainstream classrooms, but adequately accommodating and effectively teaching these children can be a challenge. Teachers may lack systematic information on CIs and must often rely on caregivers to learn how to help the child succeed.
The resources KDHRC developed for The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit train teachers and parents to provide optimal support for children with CIs in mainstream classrooms. The Toolkit has four components, including:
- A Parent’s Guide to help parents prepare their child, his or her school, and themselves for their child’s entry into mainstream classrooms
- A Teachers’ Guide & DVD that provide concrete strategies and examples for teaching a student with a CI, tips for creating an inclusive classroom, suggestions for classroom modifications, and testimonials from parents and teachers who have been through the mainstreaming process
- A lesson plan and DVD for typical children with activities to create peer acceptance and smooth the integration of children with CIs into mainstream classrooms
- A website with supportive and interactive features for parents, teachers, and children
Teachers exposed to The Toolkit’s Teachers’ Guide & DVD saw a positive impact in their self-efficacy and rated the materials very helpful. Use of the Toolkit prompted increases in teachers’ knowledge about cochlear implants, the educational and social needs of children who have them, and methods to accommodate and teach them effectively. Additionally, exposure to Toolkit materials increased peers’ knowledge of CIs.
To learn more about The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit or to purchase the parent or teacher toolkits click here.
To learn more about the methodology and outcomes of The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit evaluation click here.