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Post-14 transitions for deaf young people - coronavirus info for professionals

Published Date: 23 Nov 2020

Planning for the future

Deaf young people planning to leave school or college in the summer of 2021 should not postpone making preparations for them moving on to what they want to do next - whether that is college, university or work-based training.

The way that education is being delivered in post-16 education has changed a lot with much teaching and learning now taking place online. You should encourage deaf young people to ask questions to colleges and universities about how they plan to deliver courses. If there is a lot of online teaching, the young person’s support package may need to change from what they have normally had to reflect the greater challenges in hearing or lipreading a speaker on a screen.

Deaf young people with an Education, Health and Care plan, statement of special educational needs or a coordinated support plan should have a review meeting before 31st March 2021 to plan the next steps. Whilst local authorities may have reduced levels of staff at the moment, we expect them to prioritise young people who are expecting to leave school in the summer. For young people in England and Wales, it is important that their new education provider is named on their plan/statement.

Review meetings can be held online. Additional communication support should be provided where needed to ensure deaf young people can fully access this meeting and feed into the plan. Young people and their families should still expect to receive all relevant paperwork in advance to prepare for the meeting.

Moving on to higher education

If a young person is moving on to higher education in September 2021, they can contact the disability advisor for their preferred university from which they have received a conditional offer. They can request a meeting to talk about the support that needs to be in place by next September. If communication support is required for the meeting, then the university should set this up.

If a young person is wanting to visit universities to decide which ones to list on their UCAS form next year, then they will have to wait until this is possible or attend a virtual open day (which should be made accessible). In the meantime, they can check out the information different universities have on their website for disabled students. If there is a lot of useful info on the website for disabled young people and accessible materials (e.g. subtitled videos) then this will probably be a good sign.

Deaf young people can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) if they require any communication support or technology in higher education. It may take longer than normal to obtain the medical evidence of deafness required for the application process, as it needs to come from a GP or audiologist. DSA assessment centres are open and offering DSA assessments remotely through video or phone and should be providing communication support when needed.

If you are working with deaf students in Higher Education, our blog summarises the issues that deaf students may face at this time in terms of remote learning. Deaf young people in Higher Education may need to ask for additional funding from Disabled Students Allowance for any additional communication support needed. 

Careers advice

Careers advisors may be less accessible in person to support young people with making decisions about what to study next or where they want to work. However, schools and colleges (and careers organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) can still make arrangements for careers advisors to be accessed online. Young people can also use webchat to contact national careers services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Young people can also find careers information via our website on work and careers for deaf people.