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Sensory and physical support service for children and young people who are deaf or hearing impaired

We work with children and young people and their families offering information and support from the point of diagnosis of hearing loss to leaving school or college.

Early years

We make immediate contact with families either at or directly following diagnosis and provide referral advice, information and support to families from the point of diagnosis of hearing loss.

We have a communication at home programme for the development of sign language in the home. Support for deaf children under the age of 5 years and their families is available from the multi-agency early years centre for young deaf children and their families.

We also set up workshops and support groups.

School age

We make contact with families and schools following referral and give advice and guidance through all phases and transition between phases for the pupil, school and family.

We provide joint transition planning in the last 2 years of school and input and information from a lecturer for deaf and hearing impaired to help pupils make choices and provide opportunities to find out about after-school education from year nine onwards.

We provide, monitor and maintain specialist equipment and make assessments of needs and language development. We provide information and in-service training to school staff. We jointly plan programmes and activities for school staff in conjunction with the speech and language therapy service.

We work with families, schools and other agencies to ensure access to education and the curriculum. We provide direct teaching programmes with pupils.


We provide information to students and their families about local provision for deaf students and work with schools, families and other services from year 9 to prepare for after school.

We attend enrolment and open evenings in local colleges to provide information and support to students and their families.

We make pre-entry assessments of support needs for students going on to further education and work closely with colleges and other support agencies to ensure student progress and access to courses.

Following a student needs assessment we may provide specialist equipment and in-class support including note takers, lip speakers or communication support workers.

Support is provided for students at all college meetings, reviews and tutorials.

A lecturer for the deaf and hearing impaired works as part of the college team to ensure the monitoring and ongoing assessment of the student and also to investigate and advise about options after college.

We work with other staff such as careers personal advisors to ensure advice and support to students when looking at progression from college.

Referral routes

Referrals are accepted from all audiology and ear, nose and throat departments, from concerned parents, educational establishments and other services.

Criteria for involvement

Any of the following points:

  • has hearing loss in both ears of 30dB or more in the better ear - this is an average loss taken over the mid frequencies - according to British Association of Teacher of the Deaf guidelines
  • has been prescribed with a hearing aid
  • has hearing loss in one ear of 30dB or more, averaged over the mid frequencies
  • has a high frequency hearing loss of any kind
  • has been diagnosed or suspected to have auditory neuropathy

Monitoring and review procedures

All pupils in schools and colleges undertake the usual statutory and school assessments undertaken by all pupils or students according to their age and needs.

Pupils with a statement of special educational need follow the procedures for annual review and transition planning.

Pupils who do not have a statement of special educational need have regular review and planning between family, school and other agencies dependent on need and level of support provided.

Pre-school children have a family-held record of their child's development and in particular their development in the area of communication and language.

Various assessment tools are available for use dependent on the needs of the child.

The assessment undertaken of new students on pre-entry to college is based upon the NATED assessment of student need with local variations.

The work of the service is reviewed regularly by internal development planning and review, our quality assurance measures and outside quality assurance measures. A yearly evaluation from families, other services, schools, colleges, pupils and students is undertaken.

Links with other agencies

The service has developed joint working protocols for early years work with health and social services. Joint working protocols exist between health and the service with respect to referral and care pathways for children.

Contact us

email or tel: 07824 839593 (term time only)

Write to:

Donna Marie Carter, Head of Service
Sensory and Physical Support Service - Hearing Impairment
SEN Support Services
Grange Street
DE55 7JA

email or tel: 07876 441472 (term time only)

Write to:

Margaret Nolan, Principal Teacher
Sensory and Physical Support Service - Hearing Impairment
SEN Support Services
School Road
S41 8LJ