CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES REQUIRED FOR MEETING THE INFORMATION NEEDS OF STUDENTS WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT IN NIGERIAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES
This study was conducted to examine Classroom environment and resources required for meeting the information needs of students with hearing impairment in Nigerian Federal Universities. The study employed descriptive survey design. Five research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. The population of the study was made up of 165 people consisting of 63 Lecturers and 102 students with hearing impairment. Data collection was done using two sets of questionnaires (One for Lectures and the other for students) and focus group discussion. Data collected from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics involving mean and standard deviation. t-test was used to test the four postulated null hypothesis at 0.05 probability level. The results were presented in tables. Data from the focus group discussion were coded, sorted, tallied and relevant themes identified. The findings of the study showed that students with hearing impairment need information to improve language skill, complete class assignment, prepare for lectures, improve personal competencies, improve general knowledge, prepare for examination and acquire research writing skills. The findings also identified Sign Language Interpreters, Note takers, Overhead projectors, telecommunication device for the deaf, hearing aid compatible sound systems and air conditioners as classroom resources very highly needed in a classroom where hearing and hearing impaired students study alongside each other. The four null hypotheses postulated for the study were all accepted indicating that there were no significant differences in the opinions of hard of hearing and deaf students on the information needs of students with hearing impairment in Nigerian Federal Universities and in the opinion of lecturers and students on types of classroom resources required for meeting the information needs of students with hearing impairmernt amongst others. This finding has implications for library and information science practice in Nigeria in developing services and programs to cater for the interest of students with hearing impairment. Based on the findings, it was recommended amongst others that students with hearing impairment have information needs like every other student as such; libraries should create programs and services to meet their information needs. The study concluded that classroom environment and appropriate resources are important in the education of students with hearing impairment in Nigerian Federal Universities.
Keywords: Hearing impairment, Classroom resources, Classroom environment, students, Nigeria, Federal Universities.