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Glossary: I

Individual Development Plan (IDP) – Wales

A legal document that describes a learner’s additional learning needs (ALN) and sets out what support will be given to help them learn. This support is known as additional learning provision (ALP). IDPs are for children aged 0 to 16 with ALN, as well as young people aged 16 to 25 who attend sixth form or college and have ALN.

Individualised Educational Programme (IEP) – England and Scotland

A document used in schools to record targets, and the strategies and resources to help a student with additional needs meet their set targets. An IEP is not a legal document, and schools are not legally required to create one. However, schools should make sure they have accurate evidence of any additional support they have provided for a student and the impact the support has had.

Infrared listening systems

Infrared light can be used to transmit sound in a room, cinema or theatre. Infrared receivers can be used with headphones or a neckloop to connect to a hearing aid or cochlear implant. If a cinema or theatre uses an infrared listening system, they’ll lend you the receiver to use during the film or show. You may need to book the receiver in advance.

Inner ear

The inner ear is made up of the cochlea, the auditory nerve and vestibular (balance) system. The cochlea is filled with fluid and contains sound-sensitive hair cells. Sound vibrations cause the fluid and hair cells to move, creating an electrical charge or signal. The hearing (auditory) nerve carries these signals to the brain.


Translates spoken English into sign language and vice-versa, allowing for easy communication between deaf sign language users and people who don’t sign. 

In-vision signing

Sign language interpretation which appears in the corner of a video or TV show.

Irish Sign Language (ISL)

Irish Sign Language (ISL) is a complete language which has developed over hundreds of years. It has its own set of signs, grammatical rules and cultural traditions, and is the first or preferred language of around 5,000 deaf people in Ireland. It is a separate language to British Sign Language (BSL). In Northern Ireland, ISL and BSL are recognised equally under the 2016 Sign Language Framework.