Deaf awareness for special schools

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Special schools are to have access to a new resource designed to help them understand the needs of deaf children and young people with additional complex needs. Produced by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), the free booklet also aims to promote awareness of the issues facing deaf children in school.

Deafness is associated with many medical conditions or syndromes and a significant number of pupils in special schools are deaf. Deafness presents a barrier to pupils acquiring language, communicating, making educational progress, developing socially and emotionally and also developing independence.

The resource, which will be available in print and online from 27 September, is intended for anyone who works with deaf pupils in a special school. The aim is to increase understanding of the difficulties hearing impaired children with additional needs such as autism, learning difficulties and physical disabilities may face accessing education. Topics covered include, understanding deafness and how it impacts on a child’s ability to access teaching and learning, ensuring the effective use of hearing equipment, and creating a good listening environment. The booklet also aims to help teachers to understand how to communicate effectively with a deaf child and adapt teaching and learning strategies to ensure that the curriculum is accessible.

There are around 45,000 deaf children and young people in the UK and the NDCS estimates that up to 40 per cent of them have additional health or educational needs, ranging from asthma or dyslexia to more severe disabilities like learning or physical difficulties or multi-sensory impairment.

Even mild deafness can have a detrimental impact on a child’s progress in school, yet the charity fears that the needs of many pupils are going unrecognised and unmet. “Every deaf child should have the same opportunities as any other child”, says Judy Trayford, Additional Needs Development Manager at NDCS.

The resource will include tips and suggestions of good practice and use case studies to illustrate the different issues involved. It will be available from the following link, which will go live on the 27 September:
www.ndcs.org.uk/specialschools

 

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