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What does the service do?

The Hearing Support Team provides a specialist support service for the Local Authority, staffed and resourced to meet the needs of infants, children and young people who are affected temporarily or permanently by some degree of educationally significant hearing loss.

Teachers of the Deaf

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Teachers of the deaf are specially qualified teachers who teach and support children with an educationally significant hearing loss. 

Core services provided by the Teacher of the Deaf:

  • Support and advice to families.
  • Contact with families made within 48 hours of the diagnosis of pre-schoolers with a permanent hearing loss.
  • Assessment and advice from a Teacher of the Deaf to identify a pupils needs related to their hearing loss.
  • 1:1 teaching programmefor those children and young people where their hearing loss significantly affects their communication, learning or social and emotional well being
  • Access to regular monitoring support and advice from a Teacher of the Deaf.
  • Advice to schools and settings on curriculum access, classroom management, strategies and resources to enable the inclusion of individual pupil’s with a hearing impairment.
  • Liaison with families and agencies working with the child.
  • Attendance / contribution to multi-agency meetings.
  • Provision of radio system.
  • Training to parents and school staff with regard to making the most effective use of hearing aids, personal radio systems and other assistive listening devices
  • Routine checks of radio system and provision of loan system.
  • Statutory provision as outlined in individual child or young person's Educational Health Care Plan.
  • Enhancement / enrichment activities which enable children, young people with a hearing loss and their families to meet others, share experiences and support their emotional well being
  • Advice to settings with regard to reasonable adjustments which could be made to their environment in line with requirements of the Equality Act

Further advice for families and educational settings can be found at. 

  • HS18 resource sheet provides suggested classroom strategies to support the inclusion of pupils with a hearing loss in an educational setting.
  • HS18a resource sheet provides suggested strategies to include a pupil with a unilateral hearing loss.
  • National Deaf Children's Society have a range of resources which families and educational settings find very helpful.  
  • The Hearing Support Team uses the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP) criteria which indicates the levels of support from a specialist education service.  The criteria includes levels of hearing loss, external to child factors such as age of diagnosis, experience of classroom staff, level of language development and assistive aid arrangements.  Additionally the Hearing Support Team also consider factors affecting an individual child’s language development when deciding levels of support.
  • Levels of support are regularly reviewed taking into account an individual child’s needs
  • Some children will have an Education Health Care Plan. This will outline provision of support for individuals.

The Specialist Speech and Language Therapist provides support to children with a severe or profound hearing loss, and or cochlear implants.

Core services provided by the specialist Speech and Language Therapist:

  • Support and advice to families
  • Assessment and advice from a Speech and Language Therapist to identify a pupils needs
  • Regular monitoring support to individual pupils
  • Advice to schools and settings
  • Liaison with families and agencies working with the child
  • Attendance / contribution to multi-agency meetings
  • Statutory provision as outlined in individual child or young person's Educational Health Care Plan

Support from Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Specialist Teaching Assistants are currently employed by the Hearing Support Team.

Core services provided by the specialist Teaching Assistants:

  • Individual support to pupils in school.
  • Production of specialist personalised resources for supporting pupils learning.
  • Monitoring and regular checking of hearing aid and radio equipment.

In Cornwall, the three communication options to support and develop language and communication for children and young people with a hearing impairment are:

  • Auditory-oral approaches - through speaking and listening.
  • Sign bilingualism - through use of English and British Sign Language (BSL) as distinct language.
  • Total communication - through use of a combination of speech, finger spelling, gesture and Makaton or Signed Supported English, symbols and pictures and / or objects of reference may additionally be used along with tactile communication (on body signs/cues etc).  If these are appropriate to the young person's language needs.

As a child or young person's needs and preferences change the child / young person, his / her family and the support services may consider changing the communication approach as appropriate.  The communication approach chosen should be fully accessible to the child / young person, and be compatible with any additional need.

A short 'Family Sign Language and Visual Communication' programme will be available to parents of children 0-7 years who wish to develop their basic signing and visual communication techniques with their child.  This course runs for approximately 20 hours.

The majority of children and young people supported by the Hearing Support Team attend mainstream schools and colleges of Further Education in Cornwall.

Cornwall’s SEND Teams have produced a guide for schools and settings to support the process of preparing for transition to a new setting. To view the guide and more information visit the Transition webpage.

The National Deaf Children's Society also has a useful questionnaire for parents to use, when considering which school for their child.

The majority of children in Cornwall attend their local school where support services are delivered to them. The Local Authority considers each child's individual needs.  In a small number of cases, out county provision is considered. 

Current providers are:

Information about each setting can be found on their respective websites