Varying degrees of hearing loss can significantly impact a student's ability to learn and participate in a classroom setting. Teachers should be aware of their students' individual hearing needs and provide accommodations to support their learning and communication.

  • Mild hearing loss: Students with mild hearing loss may struggle to hear soft or distant sounds, which can make it difficult for them to follow lectures, participate in classroom discussions, and hear instructions given by the teacher. They may also have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, such as in a crowded classroom.
  • Moderate hearing loss: Students with moderate hearing loss may have trouble hearing even moderately loud sounds, which can significantly impact their ability to follow lectures, participate in discussions, and communicate with their peers. They may also have difficulty hearing consonants, which can make it challenging for them to understand speech and distinguish between similar sounds.
  • Severe hearing loss: Students with severe hearing loss may have trouble hearing most sounds, including speech, without the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants. They may struggle to follow lectures, participate in discussions, and communicate with their peers, and they may require additional support in the classroom, such as note-taking assistance or real-time captioning.
  • Profound hearing loss: Students with profound hearing loss have little to no hearing and may rely on sign language or other forms of visual communication to communicate with others. They may require significant accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter or a teacher who is trained in sign language.


Understanding Hearing Loss


Educator Resources


Parent/Family Resources

Trained Parent Guides

Disability Rights


Early Hearing Detection Intervention (EHDI)





Related Topics

  • Visit our Assistive Technology (AT) Tools page to learn about how AT can support students’ hearing needs.
  • If you suspect that a child may have a disability in this area, visit our Special Education page to learn about Minnesota’s disability categories.


Click MoreIf a student with an IFSP or IEP exhibits hearing needs, their team may include one of the educators listed below.

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