Use earplugs or cotton balls to plug the ears. Have students carry on a conversation with one friend. Have a third person, stop the conversation periodically and ask the “hearing impaired” person to tell you what their partner said. Then put students, in groups of four or six and let the talking continue. Once again, have other students interrupt the “hearing impaired” person and ask them to tell about the various discussions going on around them.
Ask “hearing impaired” participants what difficulties they had in understanding the conversations. Which was harder to follow — the conversation with one other person or the conversation in the group?
Ask the “interrupters” what they heard and observed. Compare their responses with the “hearing impaired.”
Safety tip - make sure the earplugs are cleaned with alcohol or disinfectant before allowing other students to use them; make sure cotton balls are discarded appropriately.
Sensitivity, aging, disease, activity of daily living