Title

Preschool teachers’ perceptions and use of hearing assistance technology in educational settings

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools

Volume

44

Publication Date

7-1-2013

First Page

239

Last Page

251

Abstract

Purpose: This study explored how often sound-field amplification and personal frequency-modulated (FM) systems are used in preschool classrooms, teacher perceptions of advantages and disadvantages of using hearing assistive technology, and teacher recommendations for hearing assistive technology use.

Method: The study used a cross-sectional survey design. Participants were professionals who provided services to preschool-age children who are deaf or hard of hearing in public or private schools. A total of 306 surveys were sent to 162 deaf education programs throughout the United States; 99 surveys were returned (32%). Simple statistics were used to describe the quantitative survey results; content analysis was completed on open-ended survey comments.

Results: Surveys were received from teachers working at listening and spoken language preschool programs (65%) and at bilingual-bicultural and total communication preschool programs (35%). Most respondents perceived that hearing assistive technology improved students' academic performance, speech and language development, behavior, and attention in the classroom. The majority of respondents also reported that they definitely would or probably would recommend a sound-field system (77%) or personal FM system (71%) to other educators.

Conclusion: Hearing assistive technology is frequently used in preschool classrooms of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, with generally positive teacher perceptions of the benefits of using such technology.

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