Hearing Impairment

SUPPLIES: table covered with white roll paper, markers, chairs, cotton balls, video without sound, trash can, copies of braille sheets/ASL alphabet/ASL basic phrases, blank paper, pens and pencils, debrief questions sheet



1.     Greet new participants and invite them find a partner for this station.

2.     When at least two pairs have arrived introduce the topic with, “Good morning. This station will be helping you understand Hearing Impairments. You will both learn to speak with someone who has a hearing impairment and “try on” a hearing impairment during a conversation. You can also try to write your name in Braille or sign it in American Sign Language.”

Have pairs sit or stand across from each other and tell them they will have 2 minutes to be in a conversation with the other person, talking about their favorite day of their life. One person will have cotton balls in their ears, the other will not. After they’ve had the first conversation, have the person with cotton balls in their ears throw them into the trash and the other person put in a pair of cotton balls into their ears. Repeat the two minutes of conversation with the focus of talking about the largest concern in their life right now.

3.     Make certain the debrief question sheet is visible and taped down to the white roll paper on the table. Encourage participants to write responses to questions on the last slide on the white roll paper on the table.

4.     Take time to answer questions (if you feel comfortable) and hear what the participants are processing out loud. Some of your learners will be external processors and need someone to speak to about what they experienced where others will be internal processors and simply listen to what is being said or write more fully on the white roll paper. Respect both forms of processing.

5.     Thank the participants for their focus and encourage them to find another station. Help them know what stations are available and how to get to them.


Debrief Questions (Hearing Impairment)

1.     What did you experience? What was surprising, challenging, or frustrating?

2.     What are ways that persons with hearing impairments might be hindered from fully engaging in the life of your church?

3.     What adaptations can be made in the life of your congregation to create inclusive space for persons with hearing impairment?