Here are some practical steps you can take to ensure deaf children and young people have equal access to competitive art and an equal opportunity to succeed:
- Investigate the awarding body’s inclusion policy and the specific syllabus to see whether adaptations are already in place.
- Make sure the examiner is aware that the deaf child or young person is taking the exam and what steps they can take to ensure the child understands them such as seeing their face when they speak, to avoid writing notes and speaking at the same time, or speaking when the child or young person is not facing them.
- Consider whether a communicator will need to support the young person to access an exam.
- Have the same high expectations of deaf children and young people as other children, but remember many deaf children have low self-esteem and self-confidence. Think about what the child or young person can achieve and match their entry to any examinations.
- In a drama exam a deaf child or young person may have difficulty with sight reading and diction. Reasonable adjustments can be requested in these circumstances.
- In a dance exam, it may be difficult for a deaf child or young person to improvise to a new piece of music unless they have some hearing or are able to feel the music rhythmically. Discuss with the examination board before the exam so reasonable adjustments can be made in advance.