Hearing Impairment / Deafness

Audiovisual resources have become integral to the classroom. A high percentage of these materials are used to support the curriculum, yet the access barriers for many students that this presents are not being adequately addressed by all states and systems. The issue is access to multimedia and technology for students with diverse learning needs, including those who are Deaf or have hearing impairment, as they require captions to fully access the Australian Curriculum.

With 83% of all students who are Deaf or have hearing impairment attending mainstream schools, captioned access to audiovisual/multimedia resources is an issue that must be addressed.

Educational benefits of captioning

Using captions in the classroom has a number of additional benefits for students who are visual learners, have learning disabilities or have a language background other than English:

  • Captions link text to spoken words and images, boosting literacy, vocabulary and general comprehension for all students, with known literacy benefits backed by research.
  • Captions help students with learning disabilities and visual learners by providing an additional way to understand text and reinforcing information presented verbally which fits nicely with Universal Design for Learning principles
  • Captions can indicate tone of voice and music, adding meaning for students who have trouble hearing.
  • On screen, a lot of communication is made through facial expression, with captions creating meaning and assisting comprehension if a character’s face is turned away from the camera.

Knowing where to find captioned resources is important for teachers to assist their lesson preparation.

To know more about captions, additional resources, mini-video tutorials  and to learn about our national awareness-raising initiative visit our CAP THAT! website.

There are a significant number of national and state-based organisations and websites that offer support services and information for parents, teachers and students.


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