Deaf awareness raising activities

In this section you will find film clips and a range of activities that can be used to develop deaf awareness in your school.

There are around 35,000 deaf children and young people in the UK. The majority are educated in mainstream schools alongside their hearing peers. Some of these children are the only deaf child in their class, or even the whole school. It is vital that their hearing friends learn how to be deaf aware.

Here to Learn DVD

Here to Learn is for mainstream school staff who have little or no experience of working with deaf children. It aims to develop their understanding of a deaf child’s needs.  It is available either as online video clips or a DVD.

To order a copy of the DVD click here.

It includes basic information on the practical steps which school staff can take to be more deaf aware and include deaf children and young people in all aspects of school life.

Teachers and other school staff are shown how to ensure deaf children in their class have full access to the curriculum and that their school is deaf friendly.

It includes interviews with teachers, teaching assistants, teachers of deaf children, special educational needs coordinators, deaf young people and parents. It also includes examples of simulated hearing loss.

You can view the modules online using the links below. These links will take you to the Vimeo website (external site) to view the video clips.

Please note that NDCS takes no responsibility for the content of external websites.


Introduction to the Deaf friendly activity pack

The Deaf friendly activity pack aims to raise hearing pupils’ deaf awareness, and facilitate the social inclusion of deaf children.

By particpating in the suggested activities, hearing pupils will increase their knowledge of deafness and improve their ability to communicate effectively with their deaf peers.

This section contains the contents page for the activity pack and an introduction to the materials.


How we hear

To become deaf aware pupils should have some understanding of how sound is made and produced. They also need to be aware of how the ear works.

In this section, pupils learn about how sound is made and produced.


What is deafness?

Every deaf child is different. It is important that children understand deaf children may experience different levels of hearing loss and may use different kinds of hearing aids to help them listen.

In this section, the children learn about:

  • different levels of hearing loss
  • different kinds of hearing aids
  • how to reduce classroom noise.



Deafness is not a disability but not being able to communicate effectively is.

In this section, the children will learn about what good communication is and how we listen. They will also find out how we can communicate without speaking, and try out fingerspelling and lip-reading.


Your deaf friends

It is important that all children understand that their deaf friends are just like them.

In this section, the children will learn about the effects of good and poor communication and think about how their deaf peers might feel in certain situations.



It is a great idea to get the children to put their learning into practice.

In this section, the children will learn how to put on a deaf friendly event and will have the opportunity to find out what else they want to know about deafness.


Accompanying resources

Some of the activities refer to accompanying resources - these can be found in this section.


Supporting Achievement

The Deaf friendly activity pack was part of the Deaf Friendly series developed by NDCS which included the Deaf friendly teacher's training pack and publications for pre-school, primary and secondary schools and teachers. 

In 2013 NDCS replaced these publications with a new series called the 'Supporting Achievement' series which you may find useful. 

Early years settings
Primary schools
Special schools
Secondary schools
Further education


Deaf awareness resources for young people

The Look, Smile, Chat campaign aims to help and improve communication between deaf and hearing teenagers. The campaign aims to reduce the social isolation experienced by some deaf teenagers by putting hearing teenagers in the shoes of their deaf classmates and giving them simple steps to make communicating easy. 

Free resources, including short films, lesson plans and posters have been created for professionals working with young people all over the UK. 

For further information and to access the free resources, go to: