When a student who is hard of hearing or deaf is placed within a general education classroom, seating arrangements are crucial.  Providing a student with a “preferred” seat in the classroom can allow for more interaction with the teacher and peers.  If the student is sitting in the front of the classroom with all the other students behind them, it may be easier to follow the conversation when the teacher is talking, but more difficult when other students are speaking.  Students relying on speech reading would need to turn around when a classmate begins to talk. 

When using preferred seating, the student should be able to see not only the teacher clearly but the classmates as well.  One form of preferred seating is the set up the seats in the classroom in a “U” shape.  This would allow the students to be able to see each other clearly, as well as see the teacher (Tvingstedt, 1995).  Another way of setting up the classroom would be in groups.  This would mean organizing the desks into small groups of about four or five students.  If the room is structured into groups, the students would be able to see most people clearly, and they could easily turn to see the rest of the class (Tacchi, 2005).  The teacher might also ask the student where he/she would like to sit.  This would allow the students to choose a seat from which they feel they can communicate and learn to the best of their ability (Keller, 2004).  The student should be allowed to change to another location in the room as flexibly as possible for better viewing of the teacher and peers (Waldron, 2005). Through the use of preferred seating, a teacher can set up the classroom to allow all students equal access to the conversations and curriculum.