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Deafness and me: A toolkit for early years practitioners

Resilience, self-esteem and good mental health are shaped and formed by a child’s early interactions and attachments. Produced in collaboration with children's mental health charity Anna Freud, 'Deafness and me' is an emotional health and wellbeing toolkit for practitioners supporting deaf children in the early years. The guide is designed to support deaf children's social and emotional development through activities, self-reflection and collaboration. It also contains tips for providing an inclusive and accessible learning environment. 

Some of the activities included in the toolkit suggest using printed images of deaf characters, deaf children and hearing technology to explore deafness and deaf identity. Download and print our illustrations and colouring pages, or feel free to use your own photographs, resource packs or other picture books. 

This resource contains links to further resources about childhood deafness and British Sign Language (BSL) which you may find useful. Some of the resources are available in print and can be ordered for free from our website. You may need to sign up as a member of the National Deaf Children’s Society to order resources. Membership is completely free, and it’s quick and easy to sign up. As a professional member, you’ll also gain access to a range of other membership benefits and learning opportunities.

Resources to support the toolkit

Activity 1: Me and my deafness

Activity 2: My name is

Activity 3: Music and me

Activity 4: People who support me

Activity 5: My positive self

Activity 6: My community

Activity 7: When I grow up

Activity 8: Making choices

Activity 9: Interacting with me

Activity 10: Using my senses

Activity 11: Making friends

Activity 12: Join in with me

Activity 13: Let’s chat

  • Download or order copies of our poster about talking to your deaf friends and display them in your setting.
  • Use the poster or the communication tips from Activity 11 to remind everyone about how to be a good communicator.

Activity 14: What am I feeling?

Activity 16: Problem solving

Activity 17: How do my family feel?

You may also find the following resources helpful when working with deaf children.