The criteria for the involvement of the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service for children with a hearing impairment are:
- child or young person, aged from 0-19 years, has medically confirmed difficulties with their peripheral hearing
- these hearing difficulties encompass conductive hearing loss, mild to profound sensori-neural hearing loss and auditory neuropathy.
Children or young people with a confirmed hearing impairment are referred to our service by hospital audiology departmentsIn the event of concern about a child’s hearing contact should be made with a local GP or school nurse who will make a referral to audiology for testing.
The Specialist Teacher Adviser for Hearing Impairment works closely with:
- children and young people and their parents
- school staff, in particular, class and subject teachers, special educational needs coordinators (SENCos) and learning support assistants (LSAs)
- educational psychologists and area inclusion coordinators
- speech and language therapists
- teachers of the deaf and speech and language therapists from cochlear implant centres
- pre-school support workers from the Early Support Programme, local children’s centres, voluntary organisations and Portage.
Support for babies and pre-schoolers from the Specialist Teacher Adviser may include all or some of the following as appropriate:
- visits to the home or pre-school setting
- joint visits with other early years agencies such as Portage or local speech and language therapy services
- liaison with key workers and SENCos in early years settings
- advice and training on individual hearing losses and discussion of clinic appointments
- help with hearing aid care and maintenance and monitoring of aid use
- advice on strategies for successful hearing aid use and development of language and listening skills
- provision of written information and signposting to agencies and organisations which support hearing impairment
- information regarding communication options and support to develop communication skills through the preferred communication modes of families
- assessment of speech, language, listening and communication skills
- opportunities for families to meet other parents and hearing impaired children
- advice on school entry including information on any local resource provision
- support and advice for the Statutory Assessment process if appropriate
- close liaison with receiving schools before transfer to Year R.
Once the child or young person with an identified hearing impairment is at school the Specialist Teacher Adviser can support by:
- providing in-service training for school staff to promote understanding of hearing impairment and appropriate classroom and individual support
- helping pupils to understand their hearing impairment and its effects and providing awareness sessions for other pupils
- testing and monitoring use of hearing aids and other audiological equipment such as radio aids
- regular discussion and review of pupils' needs with teachers, SENCos, LSAs and the pupil themselves if appropriate
- observing pupils in whole class/small group/one-to-one sessions
- working with a pupil on an individual basis to model ways of working with LSAs
- carrying out regular listening and language assessments
- contributing to target setting in Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
- providing reports for Annual Reviews and attending review meetings
- contributing advice to support the Statutory Assessment process if appropriate
- liaising with other professionals.
As the young person prepares for transition to post 16 provision the Specialist Teacher Adviser can offer support by:
- reporting on individual students and attending transfer annual reviews for statemented pupils prior to starting college
- liaising closely with further education (FE) and sixth form colleges before transfer
- offering in-service training to tutors and peer awareness sessions
- providing opportunities for students to deliver joint training with the Teacher Adviser.
Post transition to college - further support can be bought in by colleges which would include:
- maintaining an agreed schedule of visits to meet the hearing impaired student on a regular basis
- leasing and maintenance of equipment
- providing reports for access to formal exams
- offering support and advice for transition to higher education.
National Deaf Children's Society
Royal National Institute for the Deaf