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Helping your child plan for their future

Photo: Work together with your deaf child to explore options

“My deafness didn’t stop me”

Deafness shouldn’t be a barrier stopping your child doing what they really want to do. There are only a small number of jobs that deaf people aren’t allowed to do because entry to the profession requires a particular level of hearing. With the right support or adjustments, most education and career options will be available your child so it’s important to make sure they are not limiting themselves unnecessarily.

See examples of the range of jobs that deaf people can do.

Review meetings

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (England), statement of SEN (Northern Ireland and Wales) or Co-ordinated Support Plan (Scotland) then there is a legal duty for ‘transition planning’ as part of their annual review process from the age of 14 onwards. We use the term ‘transition’ to refer to the journey which a young person takes into post-16 education, employment and adult life.

Your child may be asked about their aspirations for the future and what support they need. If this does not happen and you think your child is not being properly supported by their school, college or local authority to prepare for their future get in touch with our helpline for further advice.

If your child does not have an EHC plan or statement then they might not have any formal transition planning. However, they should still be able to talk to their Teacher of the Deaf about the support available to them when they leave school.

Note: A new system for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs in Wales is being implemented from 1st September 2021. In time, all current support plans (including Statements, IEPs and LSPs) will be replaced with Individual Development Plans (IDPs).

Find out more about the changes in Wales on our page Additional learning needs (ALN) in Wales. We will update the website with more information on the new system in Wales shortly, in the meantime see Written Statement: Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act 2018 Implementation.

Getting careers advice

Your child should have access to a careers advisor to help them make decisions about their futures. Careers advisors are trained to provide advice on what jobs are available and what qualifications might be needed. They are often not aware of deaf people’s needs and may be poorly informed about the support available to deaf people at work. This has meant that we occasionally hear about incorrect advice being given to deaf young people. For deaf-specific information please visit our young people's pages or contact our helpline.

Meeting employers

Your child is likely to benefit from positive experiences of meeting employers including careers talks, workplace visits and work experience. Schools and colleges should provide these opportunities and they should make sure these are accessible, providing communication support if necessary.

Start thinking early

Deaf young people tell us that they would like more time to think about what they want to do in future before they start having to make choices about what courses to take at school or college.

This means starting to think about future choices from the age of 12 at the latest. Children do not need to decide on what career path they want to take at an early age but can benefit from seeing examples of deaf people in a range of jobs.

Information for deaf young people

We have information created especially for deaf young people about their options as they grow up. You can direct your child to the information for deaf young people pages to find more information for themselves.

If you or your child are not happy with the support received

Please get in touch with us. We have a campaign aiming to improve careers support for deaf young people and we would love to hear about your experiences. Please contact our helpline.