Deaf children can and should be given every opportunity to complete the same curriculum to the same level as their hearing peers. In this video, I will draw on my experience as a teacher of deaf children, as I discuss modifications that you can apply in your classrooms. Being deaf does not preclude a child from achieving academically. Thus, the class teachers should always aim to ensure that her learners who are deaf are given full access to all subject content. However, it is also obvious that a deaf child who relies on vision to access information and instruction, will need some modifications in their learning environment, in order to ensure access to instruction and also to incidental learning opportunities. Remember that modifications involve making changes to the physical space, teaching materials, or methods. While accommodations refer to the steps put in place to ensure that the access needs of individual learners are met. The first modification is related to the classroom layouts. In order to ensure that deaf learners have access to information presented by the teacher as well as from now appears, it is best to position the classroom seating in a horseshoe arrangement. This enables the learners to see the teacher clearly, as well as their classmates. In this way, the sharing of ideas and opinions is easy when working in a whole class format. But learners can also still work independently without having to rearrange the furniture. If you're going to do group work activities, a simple adjustment of a few desks and chairs into the middle of the arrangement to face their friends is quick and easy to do. The second modification that may be necessary is adjustment of lighting. Shadows make seeing sign language and facial expression very difficult, and can cause eye strain and fatigue. So shadows and gloomy classrooms are to be avoided. However, you also don't want to have a classroom that is so bright, that the eyes get tired from the glare. You should also ensure that there is no glare from windows, especially if learners backs onto the windows, as their faces and signs will be difficult for you or their peers to see. Put curtains on the windows, or you can cover the lower half of the windows with artworks to make it less bright. It is also important to make sure that the lights are not flickering or faulty, as they can also cause irritation and poor concentration, even poor health if children have epilepsy. Remember, that deaf children also sensory beings. As with all children, deaf children have sensory preferences. If the sensors are not well integrated in a learner or the learner is overstimulated, she may be unable to organize their sensory experiences, and may feel really overwhelmed by them. This can lead to undesirable behavior. So it is important therefore to keep a close eye on the children who you feel "pay up regularly," and look for possible triggers in the classroom environment. But remember you as the teacher are not alone in this. It is highly recommended that you send any such children for a full assessment with an occupational therapist. You can identify any particular sensory integration issues, and provide you with concrete steps and suggestions that will work for the individual child. The third modification I'm including relates to organization. This is also closely linked to sensory overstimulation. All children in your class will benefits if your classroom is well organized, if the colors are not too overwhelming, and your wall spaces are organized into themes and defined areas. The area that is behind the teacher most of the time which is usually the area with a board or projector screen is in particular, should be simply decorated with muted colors, and only with useful information that does not change regularly, such as a number line or alphabet. These simple modifications can go a long way to making the classroom space more conducive to learning for all your learners. The fourth modification is about communication. With learners who are battling to communicate their feelings or express their needs, you can create charts that include various emotions or needs. These can include a picture, a photo of the sign, and later even the word, and children can point to these to show how they feel or what they need. This can be used until the learners are confidence to use sign language to express themselves, and will help reduce frustration. Once learners are beginning to do written work, it may be necessary to modify what they learn, and how it is presented to some extent. Remember that we want deaf learners to learn the same content as their hearing counterparts. But in order to ensure that learning is not inhibited by lack of understanding of written English for example, the teacher may need to modify the work habits. This could involve changing the way in which language is used. So modify the text to use shorter, simpler sentences, provide synonyms for words which may not be known, like in brackets, and allow the use of a dictionary. Additional pictures and diagrams in notes may also be useful to visually represent what is explained in the text. It can also be useful to modify the way in which instructions or tasks are given, breaking any work to be done into smaller chunks or sub-tasks. That can assist learners who need this kind of support to gain a sense of mastery of one smaller task at a time, and thereby grow in confidence. Be aware of expecting learners to spend too much time on one specific task. Ensure that you modify your teaching day to include a lots of different activities that are child-centered fun, and provide many opportunities to learn in different ways. The last modification relates to timing. As a teacher of the deaf, it is important to maintain a flexible approach to teaching time. Look out for the telltale signs of eye fatigue or sensory integration difficulties. These could include losing focus on you or the task at hand, looking bored or indicating that the task is hard, or I can't do it, providing an unexpected emotional responses to requests or instructions such as withdrawing or acting up. If you notice that there is one child who is struggling, give them a quick movement breaks such as going to wash their hands or go give a message. You can bold in whole-class activities, especially after break or busy times. A simple breathing exercise or brain break activity will help your learners prepare themselves for learning. Modifications need not involve expensive equipment or lengthy interventions. A simple movement of furniture, changing of light bulbs, organizing the classroom, or modifying materials can go a long way to making a big difference for your deaf learners.