Mini-Course: Preparing for School-Entry


5 - Arranging Your Classroom for a Student with a Cochlear Implant

Optimal seating

The child with the cochlear implant and his or her parents can provide input on optimal seating arrangements, but here are some general guidelines:
  • Arrange seating for a child with a unilateral implant so that his or her implanted ear is closest to you.
  • When working with the child one-on-one, sit on the same side as his or her implant. This will help the sound of your voice enter the child's microphone unimpeded.
  • Also, try to stand in just one place while speaking - it is harder to hear a moving sound source than a stationary one.
  • You may also learn that, even if your student has bilateral implants, one side is "better" than the other is because the child has had his implant on that side much longer.
  • Seat the child aware from windows, doors, heating/cooling units, or other noise-producing items.
  • Allow flexibility in seating so that the child with the cochlear implant can move closer to others when they speak.
The figure on the next page provides examples of optimal seats for a child with a cochlear implant in different classroom arrangements.

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