The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

BATOD Annual Study Day and conference - Cardiff March 12th, 2016

Here are the keynote speech and workshop summaries for the BATOD Annual Study Day and conference. More will appear ehre as they are received.

Keynote presentation: The education of deaf children: over twenty years of cochlear implantation. So what?; Dr Sue Archbold

Cochlear implantation in children began over twenty years ago: comparatively recently compared with the long history of deaf education. In this short time, the process has gone from being highly controversial to being accepted provision for deaf children. Why?

This presentation will review the evidence of outcomes from implantation in a range of domains, and what is currently known of the influences on progress. While deaf children are a highly heterogeneous group, and up to 40% of deaf children are likely to have an additional disability, children with implants are a group which has been intensively studied over the years. The controversial nature of implantation in children and it being a surgical procedure led to long-term studies being undertaken, many of which were as rigorous as possible with such a group. More deaf children are now in mainstream schools, using spoken language as their main means of communication and to access the curriculum, and showing improved literacy and educational attainments. Finally, we will discuss what we know of the current and future challenges for deaf education in managing this growing group in a technological era.

Sue's workshop will address the changing needs of our changing population – and how we can meet them.

Reforming SEN Legislation in Wales; Emma Williams, Deputy Director, Support for Learners Division, Education and Public Services Group

In June 2015 the Welsh Government published its draft Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill. Since then a draft implementation timeline and working draft of the ALN Code have also been published. The draft Bill is subject to public consultation closing on 18 December 2015.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn more about the key features of the legislative reform and contribute to the ongoing development of the supporting Code ahead of the Bill’s introduction to the Welsh Assembly. The workshop will also provide an opportunity to discuss the Welsh Government’s vision of the wider package of reform that will transform the way we identify, plan with and meet the needs of learners with addition learning needs in Wales.

Matching Radio Systems to Cochlear Implant Sound Processors; Colin Peake, Educational Audiologist, University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service

Setting up processors to work with radio systems can seem quite daunting, yet it is essential to give implanted children as pleasurable a listening experience as possible as well as offering the best access to what is going on in the classroom. Implanted children have a tiny dynamic range – less than an equivalent of 10 dB, so it is vital that this very small window is properly utilised. Some manufacturers would have us believe that plug-and-play is an adequate strategy, but a little more care in the setting up will prove invaluable with lasting benefits in terms of keeping children happy with the level and quality of sound their equipment produces.

The next two workshops are offered by the NDCS. Please note that the details are slightly different from the description on the application form. However, the content is the same even if the presenters are different.

How apps can help deaf children develop early skills; Rosanna Morris-Haynes and Marsha Locke, National Deaf Children’s Society.

Apps, accessed using a Smartphone or tablet device, can be a fun and effective way for families and professionals to help young deaf children develop important early skills. In this interactive workshop we shall introduce you to apps and focus upon specific examples which could help develop language and communication skills and promote interaction.

You’ll be introduced to the NDCS online apps resource, where you can find information on a wide range of apps which could benefit deaf children and young people of all ages.

It’s important to share information, so we’ll suggest how you can give us feedback on apps which you’ve found helpful for young deaf children, their families or professionals supporting them.

How technology can help deaf children in all areas of their everyday life and the role of the NDCS Technology team; Chris Bowden, Head of Technology Development, National Deaf Children’s Society.

In this workshop we’ll look at how products and technologies can help a deaf child in all aspects of their everyday life out of school. We shall cover product-types which have been available for a while as well as the latest products and technological solutions to everyday problems. Technology is changing at an ever increasing pace, so we’ll gaze into our crystal ball and discuss some technologies which we think could be beneficial for deaf children and young people in the future. Finally, we’ll explain the role of the NDCS Technology team and help demystify Technology Test Drive – our product loan service.

Manufacturers' workshops:

Andy Taylor, FrontRow

Soundfield is now a proven concept in the UK and is being widely recommended by Teachers of the Deaf, although it can still be a technology that many mainstream teachers are not fully aware of. With the development of Juno, FrontRow have pushed the boundaries of soundfield further into the mainstream whilst also being a valuable solution for many hearing aid users. Multiple microphones enable more students to be clearly heard whilst Lesson Capture means that lessons can be revisited for revision, teacher professional development, parental involvement and many other reasons. We plan to look at how soundfield can be a basic amplification system and an invaluable tool in a modern classroom.

Richard Vaughan; Connevans

Connevans is well known as a supplier of radio aids to schools but did you know that we also work with Student Finance England to supply radio aids to students in higher education through the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)? We also provide equipment to support people in their workplace through the government's Access to Work scheme. We are aware of just how important it is for each person to get the right equipment for their personal situation, which is why we take great care discussing the requirements with Assessors. We provide on-site set up & training visits via our network of experienced trainers across the UK.