Coaching Athletes Who
Are Deaf/Hard of Hearing

What this resource provides

This resource provides basic information to help ensure successful sport experiences in a mainstream hearing setting for athletes who are deaf/hard of hearing (D/HH).

Coaching an athlete who is D/HH can be a rewarding experience. By making some small and simple changes, you can include D/HH athletes on your mainstream team. Many of the suggestions you will find in this resource may be beneficial to all the athletes you work with, not just the D/HH.

While it may be tempting to skip sections – “Do I really need to know about the anatomy of the ear? I’m a hockey Coach!” - it is important to read the entire document. Each section builds from the previous and will provide a better understanding of the D/HH athlete.


This resource has been developed for coaches working with young athletes (under 21) who are D/HH in a mainstream hearing athletic program. The primary audience is coaches, but others such as officials and volunteers will find the information useful.


Coaches’ Resource Guide is based on the Educators’ Resource Guide: Supporting Students who are Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing by Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth, 2009. It has been modified to reflect the needs of athletes.