Part 1 – 3/11/2020

1. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the conversion to remote teaching during this time in our history, especially as a deaf and hard of hearing professor who is co-dependent on visual everything.

2. I teach simultaneously between 5 colleges in NYC, 3 of them have switched to remote teaching as of now, 2 of them have not yet, but I feel they will very soon. (updated, all 5 have turned to online instruction) I teach 8 courses between all of these schools to 99.9% all hearing people.

3. The reality of “just switching to video chat” as we know is NOT that easy for anyone teaching, hearing people or non.. especially if you have never done this before, I completely empathize! Video chat for me can work well if its 1 on 1, but add 5-15 people and it changes..

4. Simply put, I need to see a face and mouth at all times to fully have access to a conversation. Yes, I wear hearing aids but they are NOT magical devices that mean I can “hear” what normal hearing people hear, I don’t, not even close… I only catch about 30%

5. The other 70% is lip reading, speech reading, facial expressions, body language, with only a head & shoulders visible it becomes harder, I need to adjust & apply other means at this time. (PS -Im used to this!) Deaf/HofH people are always accommodating normal hearing people ..

6. When switching to remote video chat teaching (zoom, skype, or other) once one shares their screen, their face gets super small, which means no visual access for me, I need to adapt to this by using a chat feature to support the visual. This can be done.

7. However, it will slow down the process, and that may cause others in the virtual chat classroom to become impatient. Please be compassionate, please be patient, please put yourself in the shoes of others and try to understand.

8. We are learning together in this experience in real time while it is happening. Things will be tweaked and adjusted as we go along. We cant be selfish and expect things to function as they would in the normal classroom. Its not the same thing.

9. The mantra is: Compassion, Patience, Understanding, Accessibility, Adaptability, Helpfulness & Humility. We can do this together academia (and all forms of education and beyond) 10. Fellow students, faculty & beyond, those with accessibility needs, and those who need help working with those in need of accessibility help – lets pull together & contribute our resources & knowledge to help. Social Media has a huge reach & we can make resources available here

Part 2: 3/12/2020

1. Here is an Update on teaching my 2 (so far) remote classes using @zoom_us video chat software as a deaf & HofH professor – things went smoothly, here is why..

2. I reached out to my students and communicated this – “The mantra from here on in for our course is: Compassion, Patience, Understanding, Accessibility, Adaptability, Helpfulness & Humility.” That was first! Then..

3. All of my students already know that that I am deaf & HofH – I was upfront with them from day 1 of our semester. I communicated my needs for communication. I always need to see a face, lips and body language to be able to follow. As well as..

4. The application of a speech to text app like #cardzilla (that I love) or another form of text / type / visual communication. Of course CMS platforms like @wordpress @cunycommons @CityTechOpenLab & @CanvasLMS are effective. So,

5. The combination of @zoom_us and the CMS platform allowed for a smooth integration. Zoom allows for simultaneous Video, Audio and Chat, so for me, this is crucial! I can see a face to speech read (40-50%) and then ask for additional text follow up via text in the chat box.

6. My students have been super patient and seriously awesome! accessibility is EVERYTHING! Especially in this very NEW situation we find ourselves in. Communication is EVERYTHING so please be mindful and specific about what you NEED.

7. WE need to talk about this, we need to share our experiences, quirks, hic-ups and successes both in real-time and in reflection. I’m committed to this!

Much more to come!