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2020 - Starting Out conference

Photo: Starting Out. Our 2020 online conference aimed at professionals working with deaf children (0 - 7 years)

Schedule of the event

View our programme of the day for a glimpse of what the event covered and who attended.

The keynote speakers

Professor Bencie Woll

Professor of Sign Language and Deaf Studies, UCL.
Bencie has been involved in research on sign language for nearly 40 years, starting with research at the University of Bristol where she was a co-founder of the Centre for Deaf Studies. Bencie moved to City University London in 2005 to take up the newly created Chair in Sign Language and Deaf Studies. From City she moved in 2005 to UCL, where she is currently Professor of Sign Language and Deaf Studies. In 2006, together with colleagues at UCL and City, Bencie founded DCAL, and served as Director until 2016.

What will Bencie be discussing?
Multi-modality and early language development in deaf children.

Evelien Dirks

Senior Researcher, NSDSK.
Evelien is a senior researcher at the NSDSK, specialist in Language and Hearing. Her research focuses on parent-child interaction, language, social-emotional and cognitive development in young deaf and hard of hearing children. She is also involved in projects focusing on early literacy and numeracy development of deaf and hard of hearing children. Next to her research she co-developed books, movies, courses, and apps for children with hearing loss, caregivers, and professionals.

What will Evelien be discussing?
Promoting social-emotional development in children with hearing loss: the importance of caregivers.

The workshops

A. Supporting pragmatic development: how deaf babies learn to communicate and use language for social interaction.
This workshop was led by:

  • Dr Danielle Matthews, Reader in Cognitive Development, The University of Sheffield.
  • Dr Ciara Kelly, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield.

B. What does best practice in early support look like and how do we know? Insights from international research and evaluation.
This workshop was led by:

  • Gwen Carr, Consultant in Early Years Hearing Detection and Intervention and Family-Centred Practice/Hon. Senior Research Associate, UCL Ear Institute.

C. Time to play: making language learning purposeful, fun and engaging.
This workshop was led by:

  • Noel Kenely, Senior Auditory Verbal Therapist, AVUK.

D. Working with priority families
This workshop was led by:

  • Helen Ingram, Family Programme Operational Manager - Early Years and Family Engagement, National Deaf Children's Society.
  • Alison Skinner, Priority Families Engagement Officer - Early Years and Family Engagement, National Deaf Children's Society.

E. Supporting families of deaf babies and children remotely
This workshop was led by:

  • Carla Rose-Hardman, Family Programmes and Involvement Manager - Early Years and Family Engagement, National Deaf Children's Society.