The challenge that hearing teachers who teach deaf history face when seeking to attend to the needs of their deaf students is convincing them that hearing people have something to offer to a deaf population and that they can empathize meaningfully with their situation. As they do this, these teachers have to impart their hearing students with an understanding of how to accommodate and cope with the occasional differences between the teachers’ demands and those of their deaf colleagues (Edwards, 2006) p.185 L. 35 - 36.
Another facet of the challenge of deaf history teachers attending the needs of their students is picking the most suitable method of delivery. This is further in the choice of the language to use. In America for example, a deaf history teacher can choose to use American Sign Language, signed English, or English with aide of interpreters. The challenge sets in when one considers whether the teacher is proficient in all of them and whether the use of one of these languages will only attend to the needs of one group of students leaving out the other. Overall, whether or not a deaf history teacher possesses language diversity can determine his ability to identify with the diverse needs of deaf history learners (Marschark et. al., 2001), p. 16 L. 4 – 6.
The issue of attending to the diverse and subtle needs of the deaf history learners has an added dimension of identity. Deaf history educators have to be careful to note the levels of integration of their students in regards to their self-identification as deaf. It is particularly challenging for deaf history educators to speak to the needs of the Deaf, because they have an inherent expectation that their education would esteem their language and culture. On the other hand, deaf students - audiologically deaf – may emphasize the use of spoken language in content delivery including written language and acoustic conditions (Knoors & Marschark, 2014) p. 38 L.7 - 16.