Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education


In a classroom, the optimal signal-to-noise ratio, as is recommended by the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI), is 35 dBA, with the reverberation reaching a maximum of 0.6s (Lewis, 2008); yet, in classrooms today, the typical signal-to-noise ratio ranges from 40-73 dBA (Lewis, 2008). With at least 75% of the school day being spent in listening activities (e.g. reading, instructions, lecture, etc.), this noise level in the classroom has great impact on what a child hears and, thus, learns (Blazer, 2008). Unfortunately, with each new year, classroom sizes are increasing and creating an even more detrimental noise level and signal-to-noise ratio. As of October 2013, 14.9% of children ages 6-19 have been diagnosed with a hearing impairment, ultimately meaning that these children are unable to hear as well as the child sitting next to them in the classroom, and the further away the child sits from the teacher, the less of the teacher he/she will hear (Hearing Loss in Children, 2013). For instance, word recognition was shown to decrease from 95% correct at 6 feet when 24 feet from the teacher, to 75% correct at 12 feet from the teacher, and results are even further decreased to 60% correct when the child is 24 feet away from the teacher. Thus, it is not surprising that hard-of-hearing children are typically 3 years behind their peers academically.



Faculty Mentor

Sonia Manuel-Dupont