Mental Health and Accommodations

In the last blog post, we discussed the importance of advocating for yourself. One of the steps we discussed was to “know what fits” and to experiment with different accommodations. In this blog post we will be discussing the various accommodations available and provide tips on how to maximize your environment.

What is an accommodation?

An accommodation is an adjustment or modification that is made to the environment to make it easier for yourself to hear and communicate. It is your responsibility to learn what accommodations are necessary for you to communicate best.

How can accommodations help with mental health?

Mental health can stem from a lack of ability to communicate clearly and effectively with someone. This can lead to negative emotions that can create anxiety, depression, and frustration. Learning about ways to adjust the area to create a better communication environment, can help you to avoid these feelings and communicate more effectively.

Accommodation strategies in a classroom:

Switching spaces! Moving your chair away from a loud environment (e.g. near the door, back of the class, by the window) and to a quieter area can help you focus on the teacher and on your learning. You can also try moving away from an area where your vision could be impaired, such as near a sunny window or the back of the class.

Communicating with your teacher is the best way to ensure that your learning opportunity is improved. If you require a sound system to better communicate, educate the teacher on how to use the system to ensure that your learning is uninterrupted. Accommodations that the teacher can make can also include getting your attention prior to speaking, enunciating speech clearly, and allowing extra time for you to process the information. Be open to chatting with the teacher on ways that you learn best.

Enlist a buddy! Having a friend that you can rely on for notes if you miss something, can help relieve the stress of missing information.

Accommodation strategies when speaking with someone:

Communicate with them on your preferred communication environment. If it is sunny and you are unable to see their lips, ask them if you can switch spots. Educate them on your hearing loss and ways that they can help communicate better.

Choose a quiet environment to communicate in. If the environment is too loud for you to hear (e.g. a busy parking lot or cafeteria), ask if you can move to a quieter area. Find a quiet spot in a different classroom or wait for the noise to dissipate.

Ensuring that the environment is able to fit your needs is important in communicating effectively, overcoming stressors that arise when communicating, and improving your mental well-being!

Do you have any other accommodation strategies that you use? Comment below!