(Brief Review) Special Needs Deaf (SND) are deaf people who, for one reason or another, need special methods to teach them. Pictures help when teaching the Bible, salvation, and language. When using pictures, remember to emphasize only one idea, use clear pictures, point at the pictures, and use picture word cards. Here are some reminders for buying or making your own cards.
- Each card should have 1 and only 1 sign on it. Do not put too many things on the card, or they may confuse the SND.
- Write the word either below the picture or on the back. I prefer to put the word on the front so I can have a word card on both sides. However, printing the word on the back makes them flash cards.
- Remember it is not necessary to teach all the signs you know. I chose 300 of the most important words to teach them a language.
Be careful about the types of pictures you use. Sometimes, pictures can cause big distractions in the classroom. I prefer spiral or plastic bound pictures. They will not slip and fall. They are the easiest to use and cause the fewest distractions.
1. Avoid slick pictures. When you hold up more than 3 or 4, they can slip out of your hands. I have found that using 1 at a time eliminates the pictures falling and distracting the entire class.
2 Be careful with flannelgraphs. Many use flannelgraphs. However, to me they are a huge distraction in a deaf classroom. Pictures often fall off. (To be fair, here in the Philippines electric fans are everywhere to keep the temperature comfortable.) However, they blow flannels off and distract the class. If you use them, just tape the flannels to the board so they will not fall off. Velcro also helps the flannels to stick to the board.
Prepare ahead of time. You must have your pictures prepared before class time. The deaf will suffer if you come to class unprepared. One time in deaf camp I told all the teachers their assignments months before camp. I also told them they were responsible for getting their own pictures. At camp, we divided the classes. One man gathered his class together. He walked halfway to his room and turned about abruptly. He came back to me and said, “Where are my pictures?” Since that time, I have always provided the pictures for the teachers to make sure all was ready. It takes time to prepare. In fact, I think it takes much more time to prepare a sermon for the deaf than for the hearing, because I prepare the sermon, then prepare the pictures and other graphics to go with it. It takes much time, but it is worth it. More next time….