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Special education provision we expect

Hearing impairment (HI) support guidance

The SEN Support provision we expect all schools and settings to offer for children and young people with a hearing impairment.

Suggested whole-school approaches:

  • Have a supportive ethos and environment which promotes respect and values diversity
  • Curriculum teaching and learning to promote resilience and support social and emotional learning
  • Raise awareness by providing appropriate training for all staff
  • Promote independence and social inclusion
  • Check the environment is suitable for good listening and attention
  • Consider whether any basic modifications could be made to improve acoustics

Suggested SEND support strategies in the classroom:

  • If concerns are identified, complete the checklists: Identifying Deafness - Early Years / Educational Settings 
  • Ensure arrangements are in place for regular monitoring and checking of specialist equipment (e.g. hearing aids and radio aids)
  • Use pre-teaching to prepare children and young people (CYP) for lessons (e.g. explaining new words and concepts)
  • Create a ‘one-page profile’ involving parents/carers and the CYP in identifying how best to support
  • Allow extra time to complete tasks and be aware of the fatigue the CYP may experience because of the amount of effort they have to put in
  • Check CYP are sitting in the most appropriate place where they are able to read text, hear and lip-read
  • Use short simple instructions. Give one at a time and check for understanding
  • Use of radio aids in all lessons, if required (e.g. Soundfield systems)
  • When other CYPs contribute, ensure that they speak one at a time / paraphrase their contributions back to the class
  • Reduce background noise as much as possible
  • Repeat instructions first in the same words, but then, if the CYP does not understand, simplify your language
  • Check lighting is appropriate (e.g. to aid lip-reading). Ensure light is on teacher’s face (light source behind CYP) – don’t stand with your back to a window
  • Use CYP’s name before asking a question or giving an instruction
  • Agree a private signal that the CYP can use to show you they have not understood
  • Explicitly teach and explore meaning of new vocabulary and concepts introduced
  • Avoid writing on board or interactive whiteboard while speaking as you will not be facing CYP
  • Refer to National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) Phonics Guidance
  • Share new concepts and vocabulary with parent/carers to consolidate and extend at home
  • Provide access to additional specialist curriculum delivered by VSSS e.g. Deaf Studies/PUD (Personal Understanding of Deafness) in order to come to terms and manage their hearing loss and equipment
  • Provide additional support during speaking and listening activities
  • Monitor social and emotional well-being and inclusion
  • Give enough time to think about and answer questions (10 second rule)
  • Use a specialist language programme (e.g. Elklan or reading programme)

Suggestions for the SENDCo:

  • Where new concerns are identified, talk to parent/carers to find out if the CYP has had a recent hearing test
  • Access assessment, advice and recommendations from Virtual School for Sensory Support (VSSS)
  • Request training in the use of specialist equipment to support access to learning
  • Monitor to ensure that reasonable adjustments are implemented consistently in class
  • Access information and resources from the National Children’s Deaf Society (NCDS)
  • Referral and ongoing support as appropriate from the VSSS Child Psychotherapist
  • Referral and ongoing support as appropriate from Speech and Language Therapy
  • Seek outreach advice and support from an appropriate Specialist Resource Base (SRB)
  • Seek advice on specialist arrangements for examinations and assessments

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