Tutoring ranks with interpreting and note taking as one in a triad of fundamental academic support services for deaf and hard of hearing students at the postsecondary level, particularly among those in mainstreamed settings. Why the special need for tutoring? Deaf and hard of hearing students may be in need of tutoring for. All the reasons they have in common with their classmates that hear well, such as poor study skills, failing grades, and class absences. However, beyond these, additional factors may be present, all involving communication in one way or another. Understanding lectures is a great example of how a hard of hearing tutor can help. English may not be the primary language for a deaf student. His/her first language and preferred mode of communication may be American Sign Language (ASL) or an English-based variation. And even though the lecture is interpreted, its accuracy and timing remain subject to the typical problems of language translation. Also, many deaf students and most hard of hearing students depend upon speech, reading, and amplification for understanding lectures This inevitably results in gaps and inaccuracies in what they understood and heard from the spoken lecture.
- Tutors who understand the course and the instructor’s expectations, and who have the appropriate communication skills, can provide substantial support of this kind, especially to the deaf student without effective oral/aural communication skills.
- Deaf and hard of hearing students frequently look to their tutor for help in clarifying expected project content and due dates
- They also come to their tutors for answering questions about their lecture notes.