Members area

Sign in

Register

Don't have an account?

Join us

Member benefits

  • Information and advice Information and advice to help support deaf children and young people
  • Free Families magazine Inspirational stories, information, support and advice in print and online
  • Email newsletters Information, tips and real-life stories relevant to your child’s age
  • Test our tech Trial new technology to find what works for your child at home or in school
Menu Open mobile desktop menu

Events for parents, carers and families

Photo: Our family programme aims to support you through the early years

The Family programme is here to bring families together and provide you with information and support in your child’s early years, and when your child is first identified as being deaf or having a hearing loss.

We have a range of information days which will help give you the knowledge and guidance that you may need to help support your child, as well as giving you an opportunity to meet other families in a similar position. This may be around the time your child is identified as deaf, or in preparation for starting school. There’s also an opportunity to learn about your child’s rights, which will be a help throughout their childhood.

Newly Diagnosed Information Days 0-2

For some families, when they are told their child is deaf the news can come as a great shock. Some parents may be upset by the news, others will be relieved that their suspicions have finally been confirmed. Many families may have no prior experience of deafness, and be keen to seek information and support as early as possible.

At all of our events, parents and family members will have the chance to meet and talk to other parents about their experiences.

Attending local events is a great opportunity to develop connections with families in your area and ensures that the information you’ll take away will be relevant to your child.

What is this event about?

Topics covered include:

Please note: in Northern Ireland we have a Newly Identified Weekend which includes families who have a deaf child aged 0–12, with dedicated sessions depending on your child's age. 

Upcoming dates and locations

Milton Keynes, 23–24 March 2019: 10am-4.00pm
Mercure Milton Keynes, The Approach, Two Mile Ash, Milton Keynes MK8 8LY  

Contact: Marcella Meehan
Tel: 0121 234 9832
marcella.meehan@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Glasgow, 27–28 April 2019: 10am-4.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Siobhan Murray
Tel: 0141 354 7850
siobhan.murray@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Introduction to Childhood Deafness

Has your child recently been identified with a hearing loss, or have you never attended a National Deaf Children's Society event before?

Is your deaf child aged 3–12 years?

For some families, when they are told their child is deaf the news can come as a great shock. Some parents may be upset by the news, others will be relieved that their suspicions have finally been confirmed. Many families may have no prior experience of deafness, and be keen to seek information and support as early as possible.

At all of our events, parents and family members will have the chance to meet and talk to other parents about their experiences.

Attending local events is a great opportunity to develop connections with families in your area and ensures that the information you’ll take away will be relevant to your child.

What is this event about?

Topics covered include:

Please note: in Northern Ireland our Newly Identified Weekend includes families who have a deaf child aged 0–12, with dedicated sessions depending on your child's age. Please see section above for information on that event.

Upcoming dates and locations

Liverpool, 9 March 2019: 9.30am–4.30pm
Liverpool Marriott Hotel, 1 Queen Square, Liverpool, L1 1RH

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Knowing Your Child's Rights - Expert Parent Programme

This event is an opportunity for parents to find out about their child’s rights. It will help you to find positive ways to get the right support from health, education and other services and get the best support for your child.

At all of our events, parents and family members will have the chance to meet and talk to other parents about their experiences.

What is this event about?

The expert parent programme was originally funded by the Department of Health. It was designed to help parents and carers of deaf and disabled children and young people navigate and better understand health and other systems, and how they might work to improve outcomes for their child.

The workshop has now been adapted on behalf of the National Deaf Children’s Society to focus on health and other services, like education and social care that support deaf children. It’s also a great chance to meet other parents and share ideas.

Upcoming dates and locations

Oxford, 18 May 2019: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Brighton, 8 June 2019: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Preston, 21 September 2019: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Salford, 22 September 2019: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

London, 5 October 2019: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Northampton, 8 February 2020: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Plymouth, 21 March 2020: 10am-3.00pm
Venue TBC 

Contact: Wendy Gallagher
Tel: 028 9332 4010 / 07968 143165
wendy.gallagher@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Getting Your Child Ready for School – Communication and Technology

This event is an opportunity for parents and carers with deaf children who are pre-school age (2-4) to learn more about supporting your child at school and within the home with their communication, to learn about what technology is available and to share tips and experiences with other families of deaf children.

At all of our events, parents and family members will have the chance to meet and talk to other parents about their experiences.

What is this event about?

Topics covered include:

  • language for learning and play - ideas to support your deaf child’s communication – a practical and interactive session addressing areas around communication and early learning
  • understanding your child’s hearing and accessing technology – this session provides practical tips around accessing technology and also making the most of your child’s hearing ability.

Please note: in England and Wales these run as one day events, but in Scotland and Northern Ireland we run this as part of a two-day event with our Getting Your Child Ready for School – Education, Rights and Responsibilities Day.

Upcoming dates and locations

Liverpool, 10 March 2019: 10am–4.40pm
Liverpool Marriott Hotel, 1 Queen Square, Liverpool, L1 1RH

Contact: Stephanie Faboya
Tel: 0121 234 9832
stephanie.faboya@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Leicester, 16 March 2019: 10am–4.40pm
St Martins House Conference Centre, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ

Contact: Anna Shaw
Tel: 0121 234 9832
anna.shaw@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Glasgow, 14-15 September 2019: 10am–4.30pm
Venue: TBC

Contact: Siobhan Murray

Tel: 0141 354 7850
siobhan.murray@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Getting Your Child Ready for School – Education, Rights and Responsibilities

Preparing your child for school can be a challenging task for any family. This event is an opportunity for parents and carers with deaf children who are pre-school age (2-4) to learn about supporting your child at school and enforcing your child’s rights – and to share tips and experiences with other families of deaf children.

At all of our events, parents and family members will have the chance to meet and talk to other parents about their experiences.

What is this event about?

Topics covered include:

  • finding the right school
  • ensuring equality and inclusion
  • learning about local services.

Please note: in England and Wales these run as one day events, but in Scotland and Northern Ireland we run this as part of a two-day event with our Getting Your Child Ready for School – Communication and Technology Day.

Upcoming dates and locations

Newcastle, 9 March 2019: 10am–4.40pm
Life Meetings and Events, International Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP

Contact: Marcella Meehan

Tel: 0121 234 9832
marcella.meehan@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Glasgow, 14-15 September 2019: 10am–4.30pm
Venue: TBC

Contact: Siobhan Murray

Tel: 0141 354 7850
siobhan.murray@ndcs.org.uk

Book now

Family Sign Language

What is Family Sign Language?

With the right support and encouragement, deaf children can learn to communicate as effectively as other children. There are many different ways of communicating with your deaf child and by attending a Family Sign Language (FSL) course you can learn about the different communication styles that may suit your family.

This interactive and fun course is for families with deaf children aged 0–5. Courses are delivered through different formats including a weekend, group sessions over a number of weeks or a one-to-one session with one of our Family Sign Language tutors.

Unlike the traditional Level 1 British Sign Language (BSL) curriculum, which is based around signs appropriate for adult life and interactions, the Family Sign Language curriculum includes the BSL signs needed for family life - including the telling of nursery rhymes, stories and playing games. It is taught over 20 hours. 

Want to find out more?

Some local authorities offer Family Sign Language courses that are delivered in the home or in groups. Find out if your local authority offers any courses by looking at the Local Offer or contacting your child’s Teacher of the Deaf.

What is covered on the course?

There are many different areas of signs covered on the course which include: family members, food, play time, out and about, communicating with others and things we do every day.  

Can’t attend a course but would like to find out more?

We have a number of information resources and video clips supporting families in learning Family Sign Language, including:

  • a dictionary of common signs and phrases
  • communication tips and advice
  • real life families showing how to use BSL in everyday activities
  • suggested activities and games to use at home
  • storytelling advice and practical tips
  • lots of useful information on BSL and childhood deafness.

Have a look at our information and support pages.

Raising a Deaf Child

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure about how to parent your deaf child, you’re not alone. Most parents have no previous experience of childhood deafness.

Parenting is about how we raise a child and in particular provide care, love and guidance. Parenting a deaf child can be both similar and different to parenting any other child. Where there are differences, there can also be challenges.

Hearing stories from other parents with deaf children can be useful but attending a course can also be helpful and valuable in giving you tips and strategies to encourage positive behaviours and a happy family life.

What is this course?

The Raising a Deaf Child course is an interactive and fun course for families with deaf children. The course provides information around supporting your deaf child within and outside of the home. Topics that are covered include: communicating with your deaf child, dealing with emotions, managing challenging behaviours, managing frustration, praise and engaging with wider family members.

Want to find out more?

Some local authorities offer parenting courses that are delivered in groups. Find out if your local authority offers any courses through accessing their local offer page.

Can’t attend a course but would like to find out more?

We have a number of information resources which share useful tips and resources which you can use with your deaf child.

Have a look at our information and support pages.