NDCS breaks down barriers for deaf young people with new resources

Monday 2 May

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has launched three new sets of information resources in time for Deaf Awareness Week for teachers, children and young people focusing on deaf awareness and communication.

For the first time deaf young people will be able to use new Personal Profiles to help  anyone teaching or working with them to support them in the best way. New Look, Smile, Chat education resources have been updated for hearing young people to show the simple changes they can make to communicate well with their deaf friends; and new Mild hearing loss, major impact resources aimed at mainstream teachers are being launched to improve the classroom environment for a child with a mild hearing loss.

Personal Profiles provide professionals with essential need-to-know information about how best to support the deaf young person, and include relevant information about the nature of the child’s hearing loss, what they can and can’t hear and most importantly how they wish others to communicate with them. The profiles can be used at school, college, university, work or in other situations such as sports activities and health appointments, to help deaf young people become more independent. As well as raising awareness of the needs of deaf young people, the Profiles aim to help develop young people’s confidence in telling others about their own deafness and what support will help them the most.

The new user friendly Profiles are being introduced after a successful pilot of  the existing Personal Passports, which are available for parents of deaf children in early years and primary education to complete on their child’s behalf. The new passports now focus on older children and young people and encourage them to take ownership in expressing their personal communication needs.

NDCS’s Look, Smile, Chat resources have been refreshed to increase deaf awareness at school, with communication tips for deaf and hearing young people, a lesson plan for secondary school pupils and a fun poster.

NDCS has also produced a video and a booklet to help teachers prevent children with a mild hearing loss falling behind. There is usually at least one child in every classroom with a mild hearing loss, and shockingly they miss up to 50% of what is said throughout the school day due to poor acoustics and lack of staff awareness. Fewer than half of these children will achieve 5 good GCSEs as a result.

Commenting on the range of new and updated resources, Susan Daniels, Chief Executive at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said, “It is vitally important that deaf children and young people can communicate their needs in order to get the best out of their education and life at school and college. We know that around 77% of deaf children in England attend mainstream schools where they may be the only deaf child there.

“Good deaf awareness is needed for staff and students to ensure deaf children and young people do not miss out on important social interactions like group sessions and conversations with their peers in the classroom and the playground.  We hope these resources will enable deaf children and young people to obtain better support from their peers, their teachers and others around them”.

All resources can be found here:
Personal Passports and Profiles
Look, Smile Chat
Mild hearing loss, major impact

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