Hearing support

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


We are

A specialist team of:

  • Advisory teachers of the deaf
  • A highly specialised speech and language therapist
  • Sensory support service teaching assistants

All teachers are excellent classroom practitioners who have;

  • At least two years teaching experience before they join us. 
  • Mandatory qualification in teaching learners with hearing impairment, or the qualification is they undertaken with us. 
  • New advisory teachers have mentors   

They work with a wide range of children and young people who have varying levels of hearing impairment

All staff in the Sensory Support Service update their skills regularly.  There is a varied programme of Continued Professional Development (CPD) in place

We work with

  • children and young people (0-25 years) with a diagnosed hearing loss. This has an educationally significant impact on their learning
  • their families
  • settings, schools (mainstream and specialist) and post 16 providers
  • other professionals

We support by

  • undertaking audiological and educational assessments. These are combined with observations and liaison with families and staff. An individual’s educational needs can then be identified
  • providing advice about specialist adaptations to learning materials and the environment. This is in line with the Equality Act
  • providing advice and training about specialist equipment
  • training staff who work with settings. All training is advertised through School Messenger. Bookings should be booked through Cornwall Learning Online
  • providing statutory advice for EHCP Needs Assessments and EHCP reviews
  • providing a level of specialist teaching or monitoring. Levels of support are determined using National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP) criteria. They are regularly reviewed
  • supporting transition between phases and stages of education
  • providing specialist speech and language therapy support and advice to some learners. These will have Severe or Profound hearing loss or cochlear implants. Following discussion, a referral can be made by the Advisory Teacher of the Deaf
  • arranging optional enhancement / enrichment activities. These enable children, young people with a hearing loss and their families to meet others. They can share experiences and support their emotional well being
  • providing Pre-school ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for families of children 0-5 years
  • contacting families within 48 hours to offer support where there is a diagnosis of permanent hearing loss. This is following the new born screening programme performed by the audiology service
  • working with a wide range of professionals

The Specialist Speech and Language Therapist provides support to children with:

  • a severe or profound hearing loss and/or
  • cochlear implants

A referral is made through the child/young person’s Advisory Teacher of the Deaf.

Support includes:

  • assessment to identify a learner’s needs. We provide advice based on the assessment for those working with the individual
  • liaising with families and agencies working with the child
  • working in liaison with a wide range of professionals
  • providing statutory advice for EHCP Needs Assessments and EHCP reviews
  • contributing to provision as outlined in the individual's Education Health and Care Plan

Radio systems, hearing aids, BAHAs, Cochlear Implants

Hearing aids and BAHAs are provided by the Audiology Departments at hospitals. Contact your local Audiology Department to request a repair or replacement.

Cochlear Implants are overseen by the Cochlear Implant Centres. Contact your Cochlear Implant Centre for any spares or repairs.

Radio Aids are provided and maintained by the Hearing Support Team. A set of criteria based on the child/young person’s hearing loss and educational needs is used. Your Advisory Teacher of the Deaf will liaise with you about this. Loan systems will be provided when required.

Advisory Teachers of the Deaf can provide advice about any equipment your child or young person uses. This includes how it is managed and maintained.

Ear moulds

Advisory Teachers of the Deaf can take ear mould impressions. They must have received training and validation to do this.

For children under the age of five most requests will come from the Audiology Department after your child has their hearing test.

Schools and settings can make a request for involvement using the form below:

Parent / carer consent must also be included. The eligibility criteria for each Service is listed on each of these forms. School aged children and young people must have been seen at the hospital and have a diagnosed hearing loss.

If you are worried about your child or young person’s hearing, contact your GP or Health Visitor. Ask for a referral to Audiology. The school or setting can complete the CHA1S referral form.

To determine the level of support we use:

Levels of support take into account an individual child/young person’s needs. They are regularly reviewed.

In Cornwall, there are three options to support and develop language and communication:

  • Auditory-oral - through speaking and listening
  • Sign bilingualism - through use of English and British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Total Communication. This is through use of a combination of speech, finger spelling, gesture and Makaton or Signed Supported English. Symbols, pictures, Objects of Reference and on-body signs may also be used. A 'Family Sign Language and Visual Communication' programme is available to parents of children 0-7 years. This is for those who would like to develop their basic signing and visual communication techniques with their child. This course is approximately 20 hours.

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