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Questions for School Decision Makers/Administrators From Educational Audiologists

As plans are continually developed and modified around reopening schools, there are a number of considerations/concerns regarding safety when resuming in-person services. The following questions and resources can serve as a guide for educational audiologists to share with school administrators for consideration in the development of plans for safely returning to school. 

Personal Protective Equipment

  1. What personal protective equipment (PPE) will the school district provide for staff and students—such as masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns—and will it be provided daily?
  2. What will the PPE policy include? (e.g., requiring students and staff to always wear a masks)?
  3. Will clear masks and face shields be provided for educational audiologists when working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing?

Disinfecting/Sanitizing

  1. How much time will the school district allow between student evaluations for educational audiologists to clean/sanitize their workspace and materials?
  2. Will the district be able to provide new technology equipment in order to minimize spread of the virus? (e.g., individual microphones for teachers using FM systems, individual laptops)
  3. What protocols are in place for sanitizing technology if it travels from home to school?

Facilities

  1. Will educational audiologists be relocated to larger, safer workspaces to allow for appropriate physical distancing and how will those spaces be modified for safety? (e.g., plexiglass partitions as a protective barrier between students and the educational audiologist)?
  2. Will the district install/retrofit a ventilation system for improved ventilation and filtration to avoid air recirculation?

Service Delivery

  1. Workload will increase due to delayed assessments from the spring. What will the district do to support educational audiologists with multiple assessments and the associated high paperwork burden?
  2. Wearing a mask can result in muffled sounding speech. Does the district have an adequate supply of FM systems/hearing assistance technology to provide amplification in general education and special education classrooms?
  3. What considerations will be given to those educational audiologists who travel between schools potentially exposing themselves and others to a large number of different students on a daily/weekly basis?
  4. What provisions and supports are in place for educational audiologists to safely conduct state mandated hearing screenings in schools?

Liability

  1. Will educational audiologists be supported and protected by the district if a family accuses them of transmitting COVID-19 to their child?
  2. If the educational audiologist must quarantine due to exposure with a COVID-19 positive student/staff member, will the district support adequate leave with pay?
  3. What protections and support will educational audiologists have if they contract COVID-19 in the work setting? 

Accessible Remote Education

  1. Does the district have a plan to provide students with access to and effective use of interpreters and CART service/captioning within distance learning platforms?


Get up-to-date COVID-19 information and resources for physical and virtual reopening for educational audiologists.

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