If a child has (or may have) a Permanent Childhood Hearing Impairment (PCHI), the Sensory Impairment Service (SIS) will provide support to the school or early years setting, directly to the child or young person, and to their family (in line with the National Sensory Impairment Partnership / NATSIP guidelines).
The team is part of the Specialist SEND Support Services, and referrals can be made via this link.
Support for Schools and Early Years Settings:
When a referral is received, a teacher of the Deaf will arrange an appointment to visit the school or early years setting to carry out an assessment of the pupil's needs. For newly diagnosed children from the New-born Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) contact will be made within 24hrs to families.
The team offer a range of support to schools and settings that could include:
- Advice to schools to differentiate academic work.
- Access to an Education Audiologist.
- Access to a British Sign Language (BSL) as appropriate.
- Provide equipment to facilitate access to learning.
- Maintain equipment supplied by the SIS as appropriate.
- Give advice about reasonable adjustments to the physical environment in the school
- Attend review meetings as required.
- Provide training to staff regarding individual needs and strategies to support learning.
- Direct teaching support through a Qualified Teacher of the Deaf (QTOD) as required (following assessment of need).
- Advice and support for exams as required.
- Initial advice and deaf awareness training to the staff employed by the school or early years setting.
Support Available for Parents/Carers:
- Access to a Teacher of the Deaf and support for all PCHI children and young people.
- Training for the use of specialist auditory equipment.
- Training for hearing aid/auditory implant management and maintenance to facilitate speech, language, and communication development.
Support Available for Children and Young People:
- Direct teaching support through a Qualified Teacher of the Deaf as required (following assessment of need)
- Help the child to develop independent audiological management skills.
- Access to an Educational Audiologist.
- Tuition from a British Sign Language (BSL) instructor as needed.
Additional Support Available:
The SIS provides drop-in play sessions for children aged under four years with a hearing impairment at a children's centre. Children with Hearing Impairment Communication Support (CHICS) have joined with Twinkle Time to become a sensory music session for children with a hearing or vision impairment. It is held at the Penrith Drive Children's Centre in Wellingborough, once a month, on Thursdays. Search for 'Twinkle Time' on the Local Offer for further information.
National Deaf Children's Society documents
Northamptonshire Local Offer documents
Sensory Impairment Service documents