Information | 05.01.2021 | By Teresa Quail

BATOD Association Magazine 2021

You can download the magazine here


Assessing deafblind learners                                                                                                         2

Veena Ramrakhiani gives a brief description of the assessment pathway at Seashell Trust that creates a profile for a learner who is deafblind, therefore experiencing the world within their immediate reach, and develops a quality individualised educational and learning journey based on that understanding of the learner’s abilities, challenges and the priorities for learning.

Independent Multidisciplinary Assessments                                                                          6

Lorna Gravenstede and Julie Heald explain the processes within the Burwood Centre for assessing children and young people who are deaf – via specialist Qualified Teacher of the Deaf, Educational Psychology, and Speech and Language Therapy assessments. Many families who visit us choose to access all three assessments, which provides them with a very full overview of their child’s skills. Others choose just to see one or two of the three disciplines on offer depending upon their individual needs.

The role of assessment in deaf education                                                                                9

Ruth Crosby-Stewart briefly defines domains A and B of the Quality Standards, which govern sensory support services with reference to the role of assessment in the support of deaf babies, children and young people and the use of a ‘bell curve’ to give a visual illustration of standard score, standard deviations, percentile equivalents and crucially, the deaf child’s attainment in relation to hearing peers.

In my time                                                                                                                                              11

Ted Moore looks back through the last century and reflects on the changes to attitude and purpose of assessment by dipping into a variety of publications from 1942 to 2004.

Early Parent Interaction in Deafness                                                                                          14

Martina Curtin provides an insight into the development of a new evidence-based assessment tool and introduces the wonderfully skilled and experienced team and strong advisory board who are all helping to provide support and inspiration and will be involved in working together to build an assessment tool that is evidence-based, robust, acceptable, and useful for all.

Communication is connection                                                                                                       16

Steve Rose reflects on the role speech and language therapists have in collaborative communication assessment for deafblind children. Specialist therapists are able to offer in-depth knowledge of specific areas of development, including bodily-tactile communication development, object and tactile symbol systems, tactile sign language, as well as adaptations to assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication systems.

Looking through the archives                                                                                                         19

Paul Simpson takes us back through the archives to a range of articles on assessment which is such a key element of the work of a QToD providing as it does the foundation of much of the work undertaken and covering so many different areas.

Virtual assessments with deaf children                                                                                     20

Tina Wakefield outlines some considerations when assessing learners remotely which is now often the only way due to restrictions caused by the pandemic and gives essential advice on how to carry out a virtual assessment that can give useful and, where necessary, urgent information to help provide hearing technology or other vital support to children on a case-by-case basis.

Exams in the age of coronavirus                                                                                                   21

Paul Simpson and Caireen Sutherland discuss access arrangements during this current pandemic when it became clear that exams would not be able to proceed in a normal way when schools were closed to most children and how important it was to ensure that deaf and VI candidates were not disadvantaged.

General features

Sheila McKechnie Award                                                                                                                 24

Lucy Carradine and Rianna Sime share the success story behind their ‘Let’s Get Active’ project which began when NDCS approached the children from the Hearing Impaired Resource Base at Howes Primary School in Coventry with a fantastic opportunity to engage with their local community via their ‘Make a Change’ fund, “bringing to life their ideas, and allowing them to make a positive change for them and other deaf young people”.

Updates from the NSPCC                                                                                                                 27

Shirley Wilson, a senior consultant for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, provides a summary of updates since the pandemic started – using insight from the NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of physical abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic plus the specific DeafZone page within Childline that has information of interest and support for deaf children.

Monaural deafness                                                                                                                            30

David Hartley shares his very personal view of single sided deafness which included being moved around at school from one class, or even year, to another which seriously damaged his confidence with peer relationships, lack of acoustic understanding at grammar school, teaching woodwork in a noisy workshop and finally finding his niche as an advisory teacher with the Hearing Impaired Service in Staffordshire and then with the Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme in Nottingham.

Enhancing resilience among deaf youth in South Africa                                                     31

­­Alexandra Tomkins explains the impact made by the Deaf Camera South Africa project which is a multidisciplinary international research project led by the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa) and the University of Manchester (UK), supported by the UK’s Arts Humanities Research Council, the Medical Research Council and the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Sign Language interpretation on TV learning program                                                        32

Omar Kayigi, a BATOD Special online member who has worked in special education at Umutara Deaf School for eight years, tells us about his opportunity to contribute his sign language interpreter expertise to the TV-based learning provision during the pandemic in Rwanda.

Umatara Special member annual update                                                                                 33

Dominique Ndagijimana, co-founder of Umutara School, Rwanda, shares an overview of how his non-government organisation met his school’s needs during the Covid-19 pandemic by being able to buy food parcels for many of the poorest in our community and also the families with deaf children or adults, building handwashing stations in schools, sourcing and purchasing desks so each child has their own desk and funding outreach visits by teachers.

Provision of distance learning for deaf children in Pakistan                                             35

Paul Lynch and Emmanouela Terlektsi summarise their work commissioned through EDTECH by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Pakistan) to explore the provision of distance learning to deaf children in Pakistan and to develop guidelines and guidance. Evidence revealed that access to technology ( eg, laptops, phones, web-cameras, and headphones to TVs) is appropriate for the effective delivery of distance education to deaf children and having appropriate equipment to access the spoken language of recorded materials and synchronous teaching is crucial.

UCL’s Summer School 2020                                                                                                             39

Natasha Wilcock and Manjula Patrick summarise this year’s event for Years 11 and 12 students, unique to UCL, that aims to redress the balance by equipping deaf students for university life. Although usually a residential event, this year the programme was rationalised to fit in with resources and limitations of technology; balancing the amount of online material (hosted on UCL’s existing virtual learning infrastructure) that could be self-directed, with the logistics of running numerous live person-to-person interactive elements using MS Teams.

VSO – Supporting deaf learners in Nigeria and Nepal                                                         42

Purna Shrestha and Adewunmi Christabel Omolade describe their VSO (Volunteer Services Overseas) work in Nepal and Nigeria where both governments have endorsed the UNESCO definition of inclusive education, but how, in reality, it is harder to support learners with disabilities and teaching and learning materials are not accessible for learners with disabilities and where there is no national sign language. However, VSO developed a sign language scheme of work to guide VSO volunteers in training teachers and learners on using American sign language correctly.

How hearing technology helped Benji during Covid-19                                                      46

Nadine McCreadie (Audiologist), Camilo Troncoso (Paediatric Audiologist) and Benji’s family explain their shared Covid-19 experience – Benji’s hearing aids were fitted just in time for him to benefit from directly streaming sound from his iPad and to have his hearing aids adjusted by his father through the ReSound Smart 3D app.

My life journey with Usher syndrome                                                                                        48

Russ Palmer shares his personal insight to living with Usher syndrome, with points for reflection when working with a young individual with Usher. He describes the many challenges he has faced from childhood, schooldays, his career and how he reflects on life as he nears retirement and how much he values his independence while not being afraid to ask for assistance when necessary.

Voice                                                                                                                                                        50

Martin Hodge, Senior Professional Officer (Policy) outlines the membership with the Voice Section of Community Union in a reciprocal arrangement that will allow BATOD to feature an article in one of their own publications.

BATOD National webinar                                                                                                                 51

BATOD National Conference committee provide an overview of the first national webinar which has now allowed any BATOD member, regardless of their geographical location, to access any BATOD-led regional and national event as a benefit of membership – plus information on how to run a webinar event.

BATOD North webinar ‘Technology for the New Normal’                                                  54

Alice Brennan, QToD and BATOD North committee member, reflects on the planning and delivery involved with the first BATOD North online event which was held on 4th June 2020 – as a result of which Salford HI service has recently delivered two successful virtual Deaf Awareness INSET sessions to mainstream teachers. Also included is a wealth of essential information on planning and setting up a webinar.

Ewing Foundation’s Collect and Return Service (CaRS)                                                       57

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ewing Foundation team member Paul Harris has developed a mobile monitoring, test and repair service that allows some of the work previously required in schools to be delivered from the lower risk environment of the car so team members are able to collect hearing instruments and personal wireless equipment directly from reception and then, using the tools and power supply in their cars, they set up and monitor the equipment before it is returned to reception in protective bags, thus keeping handling to a minimum.

Meet the author – nine-year-old Maya Wasserman                                                            58

BATOD was delighted, with support from NDCS, to have the opportunity to interview Maya, the author of popular new book The Quest for the Cockle Implant which features a mermaid and her undersea friends. Maya herself is severely deaf and the beautiful illustrations are by an illustrator, Lucy Rogers, who is also deaf.

Unlocking your radio aid’s potential                                                                                           60

Tony Murphy outlines some strategies to support cabled connectivity for use in the modern teaching environment which frequently involves the use of electronic devices such as a TV, mobile phone, whiteboard, tablets etc – and gives advice on how to set up the correct leads and adapters to get the best result.

Ovingdean Hall boost Panathlon’s support for athletes                                                     63

Mike Dale provides an overview of their programme for deaf children and young people and which includes swimming, boccia, ten-pin bowling and multi-sport events across England and Wales and saw over 1,500 competitors take part in 2019/20.

Developing decision-making                                                                                                          64

Jane Sinson presents an overview of the decision-making process of deaf children and young people with additional needs and reflects on the role of QToDs and support staff in the process and, in particular, their role in realising the aspiration for every deaf child and young person with additional needs that there will be “no decision about my education without a contribution from me. (Reprinted due to editing errors when it ran in the last edition)

CRIDE Update                                                                                                                                       66

Next year will mark the tenth birthday of CRIDE (Consortium for Research into Deaf Education), so Paul Simpson and Tina Wakefield felt that now is a good moment to reflect on CRIDE and its achievements and to update members about its work.


Technology update                                                                                                                             68

Jeanette Hender addresses some real problems regarding auxiliary input which were raised by a parent and a school, examines some questions posed by newly-Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QToDs), and gives some brief comments and suggestions regarding the delivery of online training


Barbados ‘Calypso’ project                                                                                                             70

Ken Carter, Ruth Montgomery, Peter Boos and Roseanna Tudor give an introductory insight into their exciting project which sees Decibels, Audiovisability, Specialkidz International, and Barbados Council for the Disabled’s ‘Calypso’ project bringing together deaf and hearing professionals from across three continents in a truly ground-breaking music and visual arts project based on the island of Barbados.

Covid-19 – a global epidemic                                                                                                         73

Chris Kubwimana, a Deaf Burundian who works in London, reflects on how Covid-19 has impacted his Deaf community in his home country which has had confirmed Covid-19 cases but did not experience a lockdown at all and which, unlike the UK where borders have been reopened since March, Burundi remains largely closed to the outside world.

A Source of Inspiration                                                                                                                     76

Hazem M Shehada and Bahaalddin M Serhan describe the Disability Services and Inclusion Center’ (DSIC) for Deaf Students at the Islamic University of Gaza and presents deaf education at the Islamic University of Gaza as a case study showing the capabilities, resources, and achievements as well as the barriers and ways to overcome them in order to facilitate better inclusion of the deaf.

Reality and Aspirations                                                                                                                    78

Khalil Alawneh and Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah summarize deaf education in Palestine in the context of the political and humanitarian history of the country. Deaf people in Palestine face many challenges and problems in their society and in all walks of life, however, there are deaf people who are employed and studying, fighting for their rights and working hard.

Audio-phonetic rehabilitation                                                                                                      81

Sister Lara Hijazin describes the provision in the Pontifical Institute ‘Effetà Paul VI’, Bethlehem for audio-phonetic rehabilitation and education for deaf and hard of hearing Palestinian children from preschool until the end of high school.

Association Business

Building on the past to secure the future                                                                                 Inside front cover

Steph Halder reflects on the year that has passed. As her extended period as BATOD President draws to a close, she summarises the recent work of the Association and its members and highlights the projects that will develop in 2021.

Representing you                                                                                                                                83

Between the NEC meetings, members of BATOD attend various meetings that are of particular interest to Teachers of the Deaf. This list is not exhaustive. Your representatives at the meetings listed (as known at the time of writing) included: Sue Denny, Helen Devereux Murray, Steph Halder, Conor Mervyn, Rachel O’Neill, Paul Simpson, Lindsey Stringer, Teresa Quail, Stuart Whyte, Nicky Weightman.

Snapshots from Social Media platforms                                                                                    84

Coming to the end of 2020, definitely the most challenging year of my teaching career so far, there is a lot to reflect on. This year has forced us all to approach life and teaching differently, and the possibilities that the internet offers us to connect with others have never been more valuable.


Review                                                                                                                                                    86

Ann I’Anson looks at The Quest for the Cockle Implant by Maya Wasserman.

Regions and Nations                                                                                                                          86

BATOD members can register for any event across all regions and nations

Poetry Corner                                                                                                                                       87

Two poems about the reality of deaf children starting school.

BATOD membership                                                                                                                          88

You can download the magazine here

You can download the magazine here

Family Support

Supporting families of deaf children                                                       2

Laissa McGolgan, QToD, describes her support to families during lockdown and beyond which included creating packs for families to help them care for all types of hearing equipment as well as how to carry out a listening check and the Ling sound check. Larissa outlines a blueprint of the techniques and techniques that she uses in her online sessions with families.

Parents and their deaf child’s futures                                                     4

Jane Russell shares her details of her current PhD study that is grounded in hearing parents’ ‘knowledges’ about good outcomes for their child and describes why she wanted possible futures for her child, writing about futures plural rather than future singular.

Natural Aural Approach                                                                                8

Edward Rex, current Chair of DELTA explains why family support is key to the Natural Aural approach which seeks to manage deafness in children whilst allowing them to enjoy and benefit from normal childhood learning experiences within the family and the family’s community and culture.

The importance of partnerships                                                                10

Julie Hughes, Chief Executive at The Elizabeth Foundation, discusses how the charity has spent the past 40 years building partnerships to support family-centred services which include audiology partners, outreach cochlear implant services as well as wrap-around care with ENT.

EHCP statutory assessment online                                                          12

Heather McClean, QToD, shares a case study of a child who had to undergo an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) Statutory Assessment online due to the lockdown restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 and looks at the background of the child, the purpose of the assessment, the advance preparations required and at the day itself and the learning opportunities and the advantages and limitations of online assessment.

Supporting families by telepractice                                                         15

Estelle Gerrett, Senior Auditory Verbal Therapist, describes how Auditory Verbal UK has adapted to meet need during the pandemic – supporting families during this anxious time: adapting, responding and working together, getting used to 100% telepractice sessions discussing initial concerns with families and helping with practical solutions such as offering loan access to computer tablets and equipment.

Cochlear Implanted Children’s Support (CICS) Group                      18

CICS Group Coordinator, Tricia Kemp, explains the value of a support group – ‘Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!’, both to experienced parents of deaf children who can compare notes, and to parents new to learning how to deal with the ups and downs of life with a deaf child who is getting used to cochlear implant. Not only can they offer a wide range of services to parents, they give the children a fantastic opportunity to share good times with other children like themselves while they make the most of the activities and outings.

Lockdown Challenges                                                                                    22

Kathleen Bennett and her Deaf daughter, Antonia, respond to interview questions about their experiences during lockdown and the challenges they faced as BSL is their main language, particularly when schoolwork was being sent in written English, plus the difficulties of finding clear masks that neither steam up or suffer with reflections.

Family support from 320 BC to 1951 AD                                                23

Ted Moore delves into his records to share historical family support details which have improved from deaf people having no legal rights through to the realisation that early education was crucial even if the child had to be parted from their family at the age of two, to a more family centred approach where the whole family is supported and how important that is to the welfare of the deaf child.

Responding to change                                                                                   27

A group of Qualified Teachers of the Deaf from the Greater Manchester region reflect on how they adapted their practice to meet the needs of the families of their pre-school children in response to the Covid pandemic and how, by way of good preparation, strong wi-fi and a great deal of fun led to successful group sessions online.

From personal experience to building a structured support scheme        29

Parent, Hannah Lumby, reflects on finding out that her daughter was deaf, her experience of that first year and looks at the Parent to Parent Support Scheme she is launching in Bristol with the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Family support and a case study example                                            31

Henrietta Ireland, Executive Director, describes how CSUK supports families and Kathy Kenny shares a case study example that demonstrates the benefits of cueing that has changed a young boy who started school with single words only to one who reads every day, understands new words and is so much more confident.

Looking through the archives                                                                     34

Paul Simpson takes us back through the archives to a range of articles on Family Support that have come up over the years.

Family support                                                                                                  35

Carla Rose-Hardman, NDCS, outlines aspects of what families need, and what NDCS can do to help parents with deaf children who have been hit hard by the pandemic. The priority was to make sure that the support, that families could normally expect from NDCS, was there right from diagnosis with the ‘Supporting parents new to hearing loss’ event and with the online programme which has developed throughout the year.

 General features

AutoBioBrave                                                                                                    37

Clare Allen from Hear Together, provides a summary of her project ‘AutoBioBrave: How life stories impact upon self identity, theory of mind skills and academic success’ and the importance of deaf children being able to store their life experiences as autobiographical memories for which the all important distinguishing features are that these personal narratives contain feelings, impact and consequences.

Mental well-being and quality of life                                                      38

Jessica Byrne shares her deaf adolescents specific research study findings that showed that deaf youth had significantly higher mental well-being, in comparison to their hearing counterparts but, conversely, that deaf youth also reported a significantly lower score of psychological well-being through the quality of life measures.

Case study – the impact of face coverings                                            40

Claire Randall, Head of a Deaf Support provision, shares the findings of her small scale study exploring the impact of face masks and visors on her students’ listening clarity and the students’ own perceptions of this – conducting a listening test using the AB word list as it would be familiar with the students. A version of Claire’s questionnaire ‘Assessing how difficult it is to listen with Covid-19 related adjustments in place’ is also included.

Standalone version of the article

Microsoft Office applications inbuilt features                                     44

Caireen Sutherland, qualified Teacher of MSI and qualified Teacher of VI, considers how the inbuilt features in Microsoft Office applications may support learners with a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) and can offer young people independence and access to learning with their own bespoke needs and shows some of the features available and how to access them.

A warm ‘hello’ from Artburst!                                                                    46

Jane Bell describes opportunities on offer from Artburst, an award-winning, not-for-profit creative education company, founded in 2006 in Hackney by Amy Bicât and Penny Embden and which is a small women-led organisation that has partnered with museums, schools, children’s centres and community settings to deliver communication-focused, creative, face-to-face workshops for children and families to increase confidence, communication skills and pride in achievements.

Including deaf children in reading intervention research               48

Ros Herman summarises the findings from a feasibility study that she conducted with Fiona Kyle, Sherryn Alton, Kate Rowley and Penny Roy that investigates the feasibility of a new, theoretically-based approach to teaching literacy and represents an important step towards developing the evidence base for effective reading interventions for deaf children.

Technology update       

Bluetooth                                                                                                           51

Tony Murphy answers the question ‘What is Bluetooth?’ – we may use it all the time, but Tony looks more closely at its early development and the legalities of it as well as the problems of interference and conflicts and safety considerations.


Hear the World                                                                                                 54

Nicole da Rocha, a Speech Pathologist and Audiologist, outlines her experience of the power of community-based hearing health services which can provide audiological care, support self-help groups, promote awareness campaigns and offer professional training to local audiological professionals.

The global perspective                                                                                  57

Joanna Clark, Director of Deaf Child Worldwide, discusses educating deaf children in some of the world’s poorest communities during the pandemic – supporting local organisations to deliver high impact services, prioritising home learning support and boosting the power of parent groups.

Mekanissa school of the deaf                                                                     59

Dr RJH Ensink and Prof Dr G Isaacson describe deaf education in an Ethiopia school setting where they provide much needed sign language training and health education but also have to cope with disparities in educational accessibility – they also include a brief insight into two studies on etiology of deafness.

Association Business

Annual report for BATOD AGM 2021 in March                                                   62

This year BATOD has opted to capture 2020 in pictures to give a flavour of what has been happening over this last extraordinary year.

What went on at NEC                                                                                                    64

Sue Denny reports from the virtual NEC meeting held in December 2020 and which covered a wide array of subjects: NatSIP, the Communication Consortium, members’ survey, post-16 SIG, PR group, Regions and Nations group and included reports from the National Executive Officers, the Treasurer.


Regions and nations                                                                                                       65


Review                                                                                                                                 66

Developing Decision-Making with Children and Young People with SEN: A Practical Guide for Education and Associated Professionals

Representing you                                                                                                            67

Between the NEC meetings, members of BATOD attend various meetings that are of particular interest to Teachers of the Deaf. This list is not exhaustive. Your representatives at the meetings listed (as known at the time of writing) included: David Canning, Sue Denny, Lesley Greehy, Steph Halder, Elaine Harris, Caroline McLean, Martine Monksfield, Rachel O’Neill, Teresa Quail, Paul Simpson, Sheila Squire, Karen Taylor, Tina Wakefield, Alison Weaver, Nicky Weightman, Stuart Whyte.

Membership                                                                                                                     68

You can download the magazine here