Due to deafness being a sensory impairment and recognised disability all deaf children require a Send Support Plan.
Nationally, deaf children are not reaching the same academic levels of their hearing peers.
In order to support schools in fulfilling their statutory duty, it is essential that the following information is included on their Send Support Plan:
- Type/level of hearing loss – Qualified Teacher of the Deaf (QTOD) to inform the school of individual children’s diagnosis as detailed on the audiology report.
Hearing Device and Auxiliary Aids:
- The Qualified Teacher of the Deaf will give advice on which hearing device is being used and if the student is using a personal FM system (radio aid) or Soundfield System.
Impact of Hearing Loss:
- Communication needs
- Speech and Language development (receptive and expressive)
- Social and emotional development (pragmatics)
- Academic attainment
Recommendations for Supporting Deaf Children in the Mainstream Classroom:
- Staff Training – to avoid misconceptions of deafness
- Student care plan – make provisions for health and safety needs
- Listening Champion – oversees day-to-day issues/advocate for deaf child
- FM System – provides direct access to speech and reduces background noise
- Daily Equipment checks – to ensure listening devices are fully functioning
- Teaching strategies – supports the specific teaching strategies needed for deaf learners
- Soundfield System – gives amplification and clarity of speech around the classroom
- Quiet sessions – alleviates fatigue and provides a favourable listening environment
- 1:1 opportunities – tailored pre/post teaching, clarification, consolidation and pace
- Speech and Language Assessment – early identification of speech and language needs
- Speech and Language development – may require specialist language intervention
- Access to an Audiological Technician – deaf role model and equipment checks/repairs
- Parental engagement and support – to work collaboratively with school/professionals
- Understanding their own hearing loss and developing self-advocacy skills – M.U.D.
- Access to a QTOD – supports school and family with all of the above recommendations
Reasonable adjustments and Auxiliary Aids:
The needs of each deaf child varies, however, all deaf children will require reasonable adjustments and equipment specific to their needs. It is essential that school apply for additional funding or an EHCP in order to fulfil student’s requirements.
To give deaf learners the best opportunities to access the curriculum, they will require the following:
- Soundfield system in their main classroom and other classrooms used regularly
- Personal FM system to allow for direct input and to reduce background noise
- Staff released for essential training
- A good listening environment (controlled noise levels, acoustic consideration/improvements)
- Targeted support and intervention (this may include Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT), SALT, Cued Speech and specific language groups)
- Speech and language assessments and intervention
The SEND Support Plan should be discussed with the parents, class teacher and SENCo and then reviewed termly. A Qualified Teacher of the Deaf and Speech and Language Therapist will be able to provide additional support/advice if needed.