Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs), educational psychologists and educational audiologists all have different roles but may all be able to help your child in an educational setting. This page also contains information about hearing impaired services.
Hearing impaired services (or sensory support services)
The hearing impaired service is part of the local authority in England and Wales, the Education Service in Scotland or the Education and Library Board (ELB) in Northern Ireland. It provides services to deaf children and their parents. The support can be in the child’s home, at nurseries and playgroups or in school. It also offers advice and support to nurseries, playgroups, schools and colleges that teach deaf children.
The hearing impaired service can provide information and support on:
- deafness in children
- language and communication
- other support services
- your child’s hearing aids
- issues relating to being the parent of a deaf child
- your child’s education
- getting places in nurseries, playgroups and schools.
Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs)
Teachers of the Deaf (also known as ToDs or teachers of the hearing impaired) are qualified teachers who have taken further training and qualified to teach children with a hearing loss. They provide support to deaf children, their parents and family, and to other professionals who are involved with a child’s education.
Some Teachers of the Deaf have specialist training to work with very young children. They can be known as pre-school or early years Teachers of the Deaf.
For many families, the child’s Teacher of the Deaf may be the main person responsible for coordinating the early years support service for the family. They can, and often do, play an important role in helping parents to support their deaf child.
Watch Teachers of the Deaf Judy (early years ToD) and Alison discuss the different ways they support children with a hearing loss in the video below.
Some Teachers of the Deaf are based in schools – others are known as visiting or ‘peripatetic’ Teachers of the Deaf.
Peripatetic Teachers of the Deaf travel to the child’s home, playgroup, nursery, school or college.
In the second video below, Gill is a Teacher of the Deaf in a secondary school and she tells us about how she supports students to become independent learners and how her role is different to ToDs who work with primary aged children.
Educational audiologists are qualified Teachers of the Deaf, who also have a recognised qualification in audiology. They are usually employed by education support services or in schools for the deaf.
They often provide or help with hearing testing and hearing aid reviews for children in joint clinics within the community or hospital settings. They also give guidance to schools, particularly in the area of acoustics and how to create better listening conditions for pupils with a hearing loss.
Watch educational audiologist Carrie explain how her role helps to improve outcomes for students below.
An educational psychologist is a qualified psychologist who also has training and experience in teaching. They help children who find it difficult to learn or to understand or communicate with others. They help schools to develop ways of working with children and may be involved in the assessment for statements of special educational needs.