Information | 13.07.2021 | By Teresa Quail

History of BATOD Foundation

A brief History of BATOD Foundation

In May 2007, BATOD created the charity BATOD Foundation (BF) to carry out CPD work by identifying research and disseminating translational research and information relevant to ToDs.  BATOD Foundation (BF) was given an initial £6000 to start up, and then had to find its own funding to follow through.

BATOD Foundation’s main aim was to be a research, training and information-based charity dedicated to improving the life chances of deaf children and young people by disseminating the outcomes of research projects supported by the Foundation – to raise awareness and competence.

The founding Trustees were Lucy Leith, Bev McCracken and Edward Moore. There have been many trustees during the past 14 years, they include Jacqui Hurley, Malcolm Garner, Carol Sowton, Sheila Smith, Ann Underwood, Roger Turner, Joy Rosenberg, Stuart Whyte, Gill Weston, Pauline Cobbold, and Sarah Cross and (Apologies if anyone has been missed) Ann Underwood joined in 2009 and has very ably led and developed BF for the last 12 years!

Once BF articles were confirmed by the Charity Commissioners, Lucy Leith (Chair of Trustees then) asked BATOD members attending the AGM (2012) what topics they would like research and information gathered about.  The Trustee team is small so this would clearly colour the number of topics taken up. The clear winner was ‘Acoustics in the classroom’.

BF ran a couple of successful training days, primarily funded by supplier sponsorship, but they were costly per capita to run and only reached a few people. BF wanted a more inclusive, cost-effective way of providing all interested parties with up-to-date research-led good practice that could be regularly updated.

The Education Futures Collaboration had created MESH (Mapping Educational Specialist Know-How) for this very purpose, within the wider education world. MESH is a design for a teacher/researcher led, international, knowledge management system for teachers using digital tools to keep costs low. This was exactly what BF wanted a means of accessing information and research online, any time, and so the Deaf Education MESHGuides were born. BF work closely with the team at, who publish all the MESHGuides.

After the first MESHGuide, on Acoustics, was published, using the information, research presented at two training days, applications were made to establish funding for further MESHGuides. A total of £29,900 in grants were received from the Big Lottery Fund and the Birkdale Trust. The Trustees were then able to organise and hold free workshops across the country to promote MESHGuides, get feedback from practising teachers and to enlist help in the creation of more MGs. The money was used for the promotion and training, and in the creation of MESHGuides. BF is grateful to the many professionals and parents, who have offered their time and expertise to create and review these MESHGuides. Following the work of Ann Underwood Katy Mitchell has done stalwart work during the last few years, in creating, editing and publishing MGs.

There are now 14 Deaf Education MGs, listed below in chronological order.

May 2015                        Acoustics – Hearing Listening Learning (revised 2018)

March 2018                    Radio Aids – Optimising Listening Opportunities

March 2018                   Autism and Deafness

March 2018                   Cued Speech

December 2018            Glue Ear

January 2019                Early Support for Deaf Children 0-5 years

January 2019                 Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

June 2019                       Auditory verbal Therapy

March 2021                    Understanding Hearing Loss

March 2021                    Natural Aural Approach

March 2021                    British Sign Language

May 2021                        Deaf Education in the Global South

June 2021                       Educational Audiology

June 2021                       Music to promote Early Language


As a small group of Trustees, who now have other commitments, wish to retire, or have ill health, it is with great regret that BF comes to the end of an era in 2021. However, things have turned full circle and BATOD have agreed to take over the management of the Deaf Education MESHGuides, to work with the EFC, and to keep the present MGs up-to-date and encourage and instigate the publishing of more Deaf Education MESHGuides.