Teachers’ level of competency in audiological rehabilitation practice

The primary effect of hearing loss is inability to hear sound and orally communicate particularly for those with residual hearing or the Hard of Hearing (HoH) population whose primary mode of communication is spoken language and lip reading. Such learners require audiological rehabilitation (AR) to reduce communication deficits. Audiological Rehabilitation therefore means non-medical therapeutic technique designed to improve oral/aural communication among HoH learners. It basically involves two areas first: Communication Training (or teaching specialist subjects such as Auditory Training, Speech Reading, Speech Readiness, Group Speech, Articulation Readiness and Individual Speech). Secondly, Use and Management of hearing aids. The purpose of this paper therefore was to evaluate level of teachers’ competency in AR practice for HoH learners in primary schools for the deaf in Western and Lake Regions of Kenya. The objective was to evaluate the level of teachers’ competence in communication training and use and management of hearing aids among the HoH learners. Practice of AR was effective in primary schools for the deaf in Kenya in during 1970s and 80s. Since 1987, it has drastically declined. Limited research has been conducted to establish the reasons for such a decline. Descriptive survey research design was used in this study. Target population comprised 18 head teachers, 188 teachers, 34 Educational Assessment Resource Service (EARS) teachers 95 HoH learners. Saturated sampling technique was used to select 15 head teachers and 85 HoH learners while purposive sampling technique was used to select 56 teachers and 30 EARS teachers. Data was collected using Focus Group Discussion Guide, questionnaires, interview schedules and observation. Validity of the instruments was established by experts in the department of Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation while reliability was determined through test re-test method. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics involving frequency counts, percentages, and graphs while qualitative data was transcribed, categorized and reported according to emerging themes. Findings of this study showed that though teachers were appropriately trained and had adequate number of years of experience in teaching, their practice in AR is to a very low extent indicating that they are incompetent in all areas of AR. Findings of this study are expected to contribute to advancement of knowledge in audiology and AR practice. It may also form a base for policy formulation for future AR training. The study recommended provision of in-service as well as pre-service training for teachers in the profession of audiology and AR services

Nyakado, John Abuor, Adoyo Peter Oracha and Alloys Odek
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Int J Inf Res Rev
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