LISTEN UP, OLLI!
20% of members note hearing difficulty in OLLI classrooms (probably underreported)
50%-80% of OLLI members are likely to have some hearing loss.
Below are some suggestions on how to improve the classroom listening experience.
- Visual cues are important, and everyone uses them unconsciously. Be sure your face is adequately lit. Face the audience directly when speaking
- Keep your face and mouth visible don't turn your head or cover your mouth with your hands or your book. Objects in front of your face impede visual cues, and also lower the sound level by blocking the flow of sound
- Avoid overlapping conversations - only one person should speak at a time
- Raise hand if you wish to speak
- Speak up and clearly but don't shout or exaggerate mouth movements. Don't talk in a very soft tone
- Give your audience a cue before changing topics; for example, Now I would like to talk about the opening scene of the movie.
- If you are a presenter and use the whiteboard, do not talk with your back to the group
- If you are sitting at the podium, be sure you are sitting high enough so that your face can be seen by the group if you are speaking
Turn off noisy equipment when it is not in use. If an air vent is overly noisy please advise the office
Try to keep windows and doors closed when possible to minimize distracting noises
Use assistive devices (microphones/loudspeakers) whenever they are available
Turn on movie captions (subtitles) consistently
Consider rearranging the tables in your classroom to reduce distance between talkers and listeners
- Use assistive devices and hearing aids to increase hearing ability
- Where possible, sit closer to the speaker to maximize hearing
- If you are unable to hear the speaker, ask the person to speak up/repeat
OLLI Hearing Committee
OLLI Members: Robert Moss, Laura Ann Wilber, Henry Gewurz, Lois Gordon, Hillis Howie, Bill Graburn
OLLI Staff: Lisa D'Angelo, Kirsty Montgomery
Northwestern Faculty: Pamela Souza