Statement from the BATOD President on the impact of the coronavirus
Dear BATOD Members
I hope you are all keeping well in the current climate. We find ourselves in very strange times and the ever-changing situation presents us with new challenges as well as opportunities. I just wanted to make contact with you to give you an update on recent BATOD activity and also to request your help.
First of all, since the start of the pandemic, BATOD members have demonstrated great flexibility, adaptability and also generosity through sharing of resources and signposting. Thank you to all who have contributed to this and those who have made use of, and fed back to us about, the resources.
On Saturday 16 May Steering Group met virtually via MS Teams, making maximum use of BATOD’s investment into technology. A large part of the meeting focused on what BATOD is doing and needs to do to continue to support the profession and, in turn, deaf CYP and their families.
BATOD is in the process of preparing its response to the Education Select Committee which is looking into the effects of the pandemic on CYP with SEND. At the end of this statement there is a link to a survey. We appreciate that the deadline is very tight. However, BATOD’s response needs to be fully representative of the profession and so we are grateful for your time in responding. The document we are preparing is looking widely at the impact of Covid 19 on deaf CYP, families, our work in education settings, our work with and in hospitals and also with colleagues in social care – as well as of course the impact on QToDs, ToDs who are training, the MQ Course Providers and other specialist colleagues with whom we work.
Following this, BATOD, in partnership with the NDCS and NatSIP, will consider any further action it can take to ensure that the Departments for Education and of Health and Social Care fully understand the needs of deaf CYP, families and the profession.
Over recent weeks BATOD has also been liaising with partners to address some of the issues that have arisen as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic and we hope that these efforts will lead to enhanced experiences and access for deaf CYP for the future.
Stuart Whyte, in his role as Chair of the Assistive Listening Technology Working Group and BATOD Consultant, has prepared a document (which can be seen here: https://www.batod.org.uk/resource/suggested-resources-from-batod-members/) giving advice about hearing and radio aid equipment in relation to infection control. We are sure you will find this document helpful in supporting your direct work with deaf CYP and also in advising and supporting families and schools. To further support this we will be establishing a FAQ section on the BATOD website.
BATOD is very clear that whilst we are offering suggestions and guidance for the profession, it remains of paramount importance that members follow the safety and safeguarding guidelines of their employer and the wider advice from the Government, Public Health England and other such bodies.
Steph Halder, BATOD President