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

The role of the Teacher of the Deaf

Every Local Authority must make adequate provision for the range of needs within its education service. This document is written to inform Children’s Services, Teachers and their line managers, potential Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs) of the range of tasks and skills that are part of the competences required by the DCSF to meet the specialist qualification as a Teacher of the Deaf. It is important to identify the role of the Teacher of the Deaf and what it brings to the individual deaf learner and to the educational provision for that learner.

This is not an exhaustive list – some ToDs will not be involved in every item and there may be other situations where the ToD is expected to be active. Throughout this document the term 'deaf' is used to cover the whole range of hearing loss.

Who is a Teacher of Deaf?

A Teacher of the Deaf is a qualified teacher with the skills and knowledge required to provide quality teaching to mainstream learners and with the additional mandatory qualification and expertise in teaching deaf learners.

What does the Teacher of Deaf do?

  1. Specialist assessments and interpretation of results
    • Interpretation of audiological information and explaining this to those involved with the deaf learner
    • Testing and monitoring hearing levels
    • Testing and monitoring hearing aid settings
    • Assessing and monitoring functional hearing levels
    • Monitoring the acoustic environment in the school environment and advising on ways to improve it for the deaf learner
    • Assessing the full range of communication and language levels: including use of sign and spoken language and any modes of communication
    • ensuring that schools and other settings apply for appropriate access arrangements for examinations and providing specialist assessments where necessary
    • assessing and monitoring educational and other outcomes
    • Participation in multi-agency assessment to identify overall needs and progress of the deaf learner
    • Contribution to mainstream monitoring and review of progress (in accordance with SEN Code of Practice and statutory requirements)
    • Fitting and monitoring assistive listening devices.

  2. Provision of advice
    • Discussing the implications of hearing loss with the deaf learner, parents and families, teachers, all involved agencies especially in the context of education.
    • Sharing information about communication modes.
    • Discussion of amplification needs and technological aids.
    • Intervention and implementing strategies to meet identified needs.
    • Sharing information about other support available.
    • Providing information about educational provision; early years/schools/colleges and other educational settings.

  3. Direct teaching through an enriched language input through:
    • whole class teaching
    • small group teaching
    • team teaching
    • 1:1 with the deaf learner
    • subject specialism
    • key stage specialism
    • generic support
    • individualised learning programme
    • pre-tutoring
    • post tutoring.

  4. Partnership working

    A ToD plays an important part in the production of joint assessments, target setting and programmes of work and visits to enable the effective support of the whole family. This will involve cooperation and joint working with a range of professionals in:

    • schools and other settings, such as with Teaching Assistants and Communication Support Workers including in supporting access to examinations
    • audiology and oto-acoustics
    • general practice
    • early years and educational settings
    • social care
    • speech and language therapy
    • mental health
    • educational psychologists
    • a range of educational support services.

  5. Working with learners and families:
    • providing of clear impartial information
    • enabling the learnerand family to express their view
    • facilitating family and learner access to professional and extended services
    • providing relevant and appropriate support.

  6. Continuing Professional Development:
    • keeping abreast of mainstream and specialist developments to inform practice
    • keeping up to date with audiological developments and technological developments
    • using assessments and interpreting outcomes
    • keeping abreast of Government strategies in education.

Here are some case studies of different Teacher of the Deaf roles

Download Teaching Role of the Implant Centre Teacher of the Deaf

Download Teaching Role of the pre-school Teacher of the Deaf

created by BATOD NEC and updated in June 2015