“If our colleagues and students can’t hear in meetings or in classrooms, they can’t participate. Those of us with low hearing, a hearing impairment, or a hearing-assistive device need you to speak into the microphone so we can fully understand your words. In a crowded or large space, amplification makes it possible for everyone to engage and learn.
Simply talking loudly isn’t enough. It’s not about the fact that you took a high-school theater class and learned to project from the stage. Or that you can use your “teacher voice” to be heard in the back of the room. It’s not about your belief that you are a good speaker.”
When you’re teaching a lecture class or giving a presentation to a group of people, should you use a microphone if one is available?
The answer is yes.
When in doubt, always use the microphone.
You might be thinking, “But, I’m good without it. I can project and everybody will hear me just fine.”
And, in many cases you’re probably right. However, your students may not feel empowered to speak up and tell you that it’s not about you, it’s about them. And students with disabilities are NOT The only ones who will benefit from you using the microphone.
To quote a recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education:
“The quality of sound coming from a microphone is different: It’s more distinct and easier to hear.”
Some of your students may have psychological disabilities that are not registered with the disability office and this is just one of the small (EASY) things you can do right now to make learning easier by removing distractions, improving the quality of communication, and show ALL your students that you are including everybody in learning.