Addressing hearing issues and masking in the in-person classroom: Opinion

September 9, 2021
Instructors with hearing loss are facing a new challenge when teaching students in-person in a masked environment, writes David Galef. When teaching in-person, understanding what students are saying becomes particularly difficult when students are soft-spoken, at a distance, or wearing masks that hide their mouths. Galef notes that the problem is made worse when HVAC systems have been reinforced. The author says that accommodations usually focus on helping students learn, not helping instructors hear students, and that most solutions are either prohibitively expensive or not safe due to COVID-19. Galef suggests that instructors tell students on the first day of class that they need to speak slowly, loudly, and clearly so that their instructor can understand them. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)