Deafness and hearing loss

The terms deaf and deafness refer to all levels of hearing loss in children and young people including mild, moderate, severe and profound.

Some deaf children may also have additional needs.

Deafness occurs when some part of the hearing system is not working effectively and the child or young person is unable to understand speech fully.

Children and young people who are deaf may use technology (e.g. hearing aids, cochlear implants) to help them.

Deaf children and young people use a range of communication systems which may include spoken language or sign language.

Children and young people with a hearing loss will be diagnosed by an audiologist in a hospital audiology department and may also be seen by an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) specialist.

Watch this short film about what young people say about their deafness and their experiences at school in Birmingham

Unlocking our deaf world: Play Now

Deaf children may need additional, specialist support in homes, early years settings, schools and colleges. 

Deafness or hearing loss can impact on:

  • communication
  • development of speech
  • social and emotional development
  • access to learning
  • inclusion in daily life
  • educational achievements

Hearing Support Team

Specialist teachers of the deaf, an educational audiologist, teaching assistants and audiology technicians. We work with children and young people from birth to 25 years who have a diagnosed hearing loss.

  • We assess individual need and offer specialised packages of teaching, advice and support.
  • We provide and maintain specialist equipment (eg. radio aids) to children and young people on caseload.
  • We offer awareness training to staff and peers.
  • We provide social activities for children and young people to build their confidence and enable them to understand their own needs.
  • We take referrals from schools, hospitals, parents and carers.

Access to education - Sensory support

Useful information and websites

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