The end of the school year is quickly
approaching and with it, a variety ofspecial
excursions off school grounds.For
several of my students, this will include their first overnight school trip! Eighth-grade
campouts, overnight museum stays and city adventures are all on the horizon. With
thoughtful preparation, my students are bound to have a great time!
ensure school trips are successful for my students with hearing loss, there are
specific areas I ask school teams to consider:
Sleeping Arrangements: Since students
with hearing loss remove their amplification while sleeping and will be “off
the air,” they may feel most comfortable with familiar peers or friends. Even
when students are told that sleeping arrangements are random, I’ve never had a
problem with teachers making an exception for my student.
Storage Containers: Students should
plan to bring containers to store hearing aids and cochlear implants within
reach of their sleeping area at night. Also, consider having the student bring
a small flashlight to keep near the container to help with communication with
peers in the dark or in case of an emergency during the night.
Electricity: If FM systems are brought,
they will need to be charged overnight. Also, many students use electric Dri-Aid
devices for hearing aids, or use rechargeable batteries. If there will not be
electricity, as was the case for a student on a recent camping trip, they will
need to know ahead of time so that disposable batteries can be used. FM systems
can be charged using a car charger which will have to be packed as well.
Schedule and Expectations: Students
should be prepared for the overnight experience the same way that we would help
them prepare for any other field trip. Printed out agendas, rules, expectations
and so on will help the student with hearing loss feel more confident and
independent. When instructions are only given verbally to the large group, the
student is more apt to miss or misunderstand key pieces of information.
Night Activities: Campfires, flashlight
hikes and nighttime explorations are so much fun! The problem is that understanding
others becomes incredibly difficult for students who use speechreading in addition
to listening. Help your student develop a plan ahead of time for managing
communication during these activities.
Packing: In addition to the general
packing list, students with hearing loss should also pack extra batteries and
basic troubleshooting supplies. As the TOD/HOH, it is important to meet with
the adult(s) who will be responsible for managing the equipment to review basic
troubleshooting steps so this person will know how to help the student if a
problem occurs. This person should also have a number to call if a problem
cannot be resolved after basic troubleshooting.
Weather: Students with hearing loss
should pack rain coats or umbrellas to protect their amplification in case of
poor weather. This will allow them to continue participating in outdoor
Wake-up Protocol: Discuss with your
student how they would like to be woken up in the morning. If students are
expect to wake themselves up, our students with hearing loss should have this
same expectation. Some students may have alarms that vibrate instead of using
an audible alert, but in cases where they do not, or, when there is no
electricity available, include the student in the planning so that they feel
comfortable. This may be an opportunity for the student to purchase such an
alarm and practice at home prior to the trip. Additionally, if there is an
emergency during the night, be sure the student knows how they will be alerted.
All adults should be aware of plans that are put in place.
trips are a great opportunity for all students and will some advanced planning,
our students with hearing loss can have a memorable experience as well!
For more ideas, see the article, “10 Tips For Successful Spring Field Trips”,
page 3 of our Spring 2015 issue of Mainstream News!