Improving Student Access: Project Access

The Teaching & Learning section of our website contains resources that are the underpinnings of the DeafTEC Project Access workshop. Below is a look at some of the information you can find there.

We also have an online version of our workshop that further explores ways to optimize teaching in the classroom, offers real-life strategies, and provides extensive online resources to help educators modify their teaching behaviors to provide greater access to learning for deaf students, which in turn benefits all students. Available at:

The four self-paced modules in the online course covers:

  1. Understanding Hearing Loss
  2. Teaching and Learning: Universal Design and Best Practices
  3. Teaching and Learning: In Different Contexts
  4. Assessment

First Day of Class

The first day of class is like no other.

The instructor stands before a group of mostly strangers. New ideas are expressed in ways that are probably not fully familiar. Expectations are set.  Students are asked to trust, to be diligent, to show effort. Instructors are expected to be clear, to be respectful, to provide direction.

The first day is an important day… impressions are made that will persist for weeks and months.


The first day of class is like no other.

Interpreters are in classrooms (and studios, and labs, etc.) to facilitate equal access to communication that is both spoken and signed. The function of the interpreter, therefore, is to transmit language in a manner that is accessible for deaf/hard-of-hearing and hearing participants.


If an instructor delivers a lesson at too fast a pace, students may be affected in a few ways. First, the message may go by so fast that it is never fully understood. Second, while it may be understood, there may be insufficient time to integrate it with previously learned material. 

The bottom line: The pace and delivery of instruction must match the learner’s ability to understand and retain presented information.