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Everyone Together: frequently asked questions

We’re proud of all the amazing families, professionals and staff that made our Everyone Together project a success. We’re disappointed the project is ending because we won’t be able to run our courses and programmes on the same scale. However we still have lots to offer and will continue to support families through those important early years.

My child was recently diagnosed as deaf. What support can you give me and my family?

We run Newly Diagnosed Information Days where you can meet other parents of deaf children, take part in group sessions and ask questions. We also have information resources on our website that you may find helpful.

Our team of Children and Families Support Officers can give you information and support to understand the communication, technology and education options available to your child. Once you’ve made your choices, they’ll help make sure your views are considered by statutory services.

For free independent advice, information and support you can also contact our Helpline.

My family would like to learn sign language. Will you still run Family Sign Language courses?

Yes. We’ll continue to offer our Family Sign Language group course to families with a deaf child aged 0-8 years. These courses help families learn sign language suitable for their child’s age and will take place in areas where we have high levels of interest. If you’re interested in Family Sign Language please email earlyyearsscotland@ndcs.org.uk

If your family needs extra support to learn sign language, or if you are unable to attend a group course, we can run family sign language courses at home. However this would need to be funded by your local authority or health board.

I would like to meet other parents of deaf children. Can you help me do this?

Yes. We have a team of parent volunteers who give their time to chat with other parents about their experiences. As parents of deaf children, they can help support you when you are facing a particular challenge, whether your child has recently been diagnosed or is at a turning point in their early childhood. If you would like us to put you in touch with a parent volunteer please email earlyyearsscotland@ndcs.org.uk

You can find more stories from parents across the UK about their experiences in our Parenting and Family Life section.

We also have a network of affiliated local groups across Scotland that are led by parents. These groups run lots of social events and activities, offer support to parents and carers and give deaf children the chance to meet outside of school.

My child is starting nursery soon. Can you run deaf awareness training for the nursery staff?

Yes. Our team can run Deaf Awareness for Early Years Practitioners or Supporting Deaf Children in Early Years Settings training for staff. Both courses include information about deafness and best practice guidance to make sure the nursery is inclusive. If your child’s nursery is interested they should contact training@ndcs.org.uk for more information, including costs.

Some local professionals run deaf awareness sessions so it’s worth checking with them first. You may also find our personal passport resource helpful to share with the nursery.

My child is the only deaf child in their school. Do you run deaf awareness sessions for children? 

Yes. We offer free deaf awareness workshops for hearing classmates of deaf children to improve their deaf awareness and reduce communication barriers. The workshop involves group discussion, myth busters, lip-reading games and a video clip on communication. Your child’s school can request a workshop by filling in our form.

What are you doing to make sure families everywhere in Scotland can access Family Sign Language?

Depending on where you live in Scotland, support for families to learn sign language varies considerably. We would like every family in Scotland to have access to a free government-funded family sign language course.

The Everyone Together project is brilliant evidence of the impact these courses have on families. Feedback from courses has shown that:

  • 85% of families use sign language more with their child as a result of attending a course
  • 79% of parents feel confident about signing in public
  • 90% of families want to continue learning to sign

Now the project is ending, we are stepping up our efforts to campaign for funded courses across Scotland. Help us by joining our campaigns network to get involved, or share your story about the impact these courses have had on you by emailing campaigns.scotland@ndcs.org.uk