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Online information sessions for professionals

Professionals who support or work with deaf children and young people are invited to join our free, online information and advice sessions.

During the live sessions, you'll be able to:

  • learn more about supporting deaf children and young people, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic
  • join discussions with other professionals
  • ask questions to our experts.

Booking is essential as places are limited. If you are unable to attend, you can register to receive a recording of the session.

How to join our online sessions

You will need access to a computer, smartphone or tablet with an internet connection to access our online sessions using Zoom.

After registering online, you'll receive a confirmation email with information about how to join the session, including a password. Only people who have registered will be admitted into the session.

You will be able to ask questions during the session using the chat function. This will be moderated.

Communication support

Closed captioning and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters are available for all our online events. If you require a Welsh translation, please contact us at least a week before the session.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please email [email protected].

Upcoming sessions

Live at 4 Webinars: Safeguarding

  • Monday 27 September and Monday 4 October 
  • 4.00pm to 5:15pm
  • we recommend that any professionals working with deaf young people attend both webinars.

You are invited to our two webinars on Safeguarding. At each session, we will explore two different stages of safeguarding. These will include identifying, responding to, reporting and recording safeguarding concerns. 

Monday 27 September

  • Identify when a child is or has been abused.
  • How to respond to safeguarding concerns.

Monday 4 October

  • How and when to refer your safeguarding concerns.
  • What and when to record your safeguarding concerns.

The aim of these webinars is to:

  • increase your confidence and competence in managing safeguarding concerns regarding deaf young people
  • respond appropriately to safeguarding concerns
  • increase understanding of the extra barriers that deaf young people face when trying to disclose a safeguarding concern. Barriers may include a lack of deaf awareness, or understanding about deaf culture and language, from professionals.

These webinars will be presented by Andrew Richardson, Safeguarding Assurance Manager at the National Deaf Children’s Society and Deaf Child Worldwide.

Our Expert, Andrew Richardson, Safeguarding Assurance Manager

Andrew has extensive experience of working with deaf and disabled children. He is particularly skilled in safeguarding, having worked with children, young people, adults and families in the voluntary, education, health, private, statutory and sporting sectors for over 26 years.

Andrew was a Safeguarding Consultant at the NSPCC for eight years, during which time he worked with over 600 organisations, services and businesses. 

Andrew has been profoundly deaf since birth and was brought up in the care system. 

Previous sessions

Benefits for Deaf Young People

This session took place in July 2021. Register to watch the on-demand recording.

Deaf children and young people often miss out on the benefits they are entitled to, due to the complexity of the system and the rules of entitlement.

This webinar will introduce you to the basics of the main disability benefits available to deaf children and young people. It is aimed at professionals working with deaf young children or older deaf children who are approaching young adulthood.

It will cover:

  • who can claim the Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance
  • the main ways deaf children and young people can meet the rules of entitlement to these benefits
  • how to identify those who are missing out
  • when negative decisions or refusal can be challenged
  • where you can signpost or refer people for specialist help and advice.

The webinar will conclude with a 15-minute question and answer session where you can ask questions to our team.

Our expert, Edward Graham, Welfare Benefits Manager

Edward works at the at the National Deaf Children's Society, ensuring that deaf children, young people and their families get the advice and support they need to access welfare benefits.

Edward has over 25 years experience in the advice sector as an advice worker, trainer, writer and manager. 

Wales: Introducing the Additional Learning Needs Reforms

This session took place in June 2021. Register to watch the on-demand recording.

From September 2021, a new system for supporting children and young people aged 0 to 25 with additional learning needs will start to be phased in.

The new system will eventually replace all Statements, Learning and Skill Plans and Individual Education Plans with a new statutory plan, known as an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

This webinar is aimed at both education and health professionals working with deaf children and young people in Wales. It will provide a basic introduction to the new system and how it will affect the way in which support is planned for deaf children and young people in Wales.

The session will include time for Q&A and discussion with our panel.

Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy and Influencing for Wales

Debbie has worked at the National Deaf Children’s Society since 2008. During this time, Debbie has actively followed the progress of the ALN reforms, providing evidence to the Senedd and working with other organisations in the Third Sector Additional Needs Alliance to seek to influence the changes.

The READY Study (Recording Emerging Adulthood in Deaf Youth)
– wave 1a early findings

This session was recorded live in December 2020. Email [email protected] to request access to the on-demand recording.

The READY study was commissioned by the National Deaf Children’s Society to understand more about the risk and protective factors leading to deaf young people’s achievement of autonomy, wellbeing, educational/occupational attainment, and social development.

It is a five-year longitudinal study, that will follow a cohort of up to 300 young deaf people, first joining the study aged between 16 and 19 years old.

Alys Young, who leads the study, will share early findings from the first 92 young people recruited. The presentation will focus on health, wellbeing, social networks and friendship groups, and self-determination. Data is compared with general population normative data for this age group.

Our expert, Alys Young, Professor of Social Work at the University of Manchester

Alys is Professor of Social Work at the University of Manchester, where she also leads the Social Research with Deaf people (SORD) program. She has worked in practice and research roles with d/Deaf people for over 30 years. She is Senior Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research and remains a registered social worker. Her full bibliography of research and publications can be found at www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/alys.young.html

Supporting Deaf Young People With Post-16 Education

These sessions took place in November 2020. Register to watch the on-demand recordings.

Post-16 education can seem confusing with the wide range of different options available to deaf young people. Funding arrangements can vary a lot in different education settings. Our expert, Martin, will be helping you make sense of it all in this session which will cover:

  • the different options available for deaf young people aged 16 . These include further education, higher education, and apprenticeships
  • the support available to deaf young people in different settings and how it's funded
  • how post-16 education and support for deaf young people is being impacted by Coronavirus
  • our resources to support professionals to provide young people with useful information and guidance.
Our expert, Martin McLean, Post-14 Policy and Practise Lead

Martin McLean is the Post-14 Policy and Practice lead at the National Deaf Children’s Society. He was born profoundly deaf and is passionate about ensuring deaf children and young people have access to education and training that enables them to achieve their potential. Martin sits on further education advisory groups at the Department for Education. He also provides support to the Special Education Consortium on their post-16 work. Before working at the National Deaf Children’s Society, Martin worked in the further and higher education sectors. He also worked as a Project Manager for a theatre company.

Current Changes to Education for Deaf Children in Scotland

This session took place in September 2020.

Join our expert, Alasdair O’Hara, for our live session for professionals working in Scotland.

Due to COVID-19, there have been huge changes to how children are educated. In this session, Alasdair will be giving an overview of the national picture in Scotland.

This will cover:

  • what we know about the current support available for deaf children in Scotland
  • the impact of the pandemic on children with Additional Support Needs
  • our policy response and our advice for professionals
  • the wider re-opening of schools and the implications for deaf children.
Our expert, Alasdair O’Hara, Head of Policy and Influencing for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Alasdair has been the Head of Policy and Influencing for Scotland and Northern Ireland at the National Deaf Children’s Society since 2011. His work includes leading on our policy work and influencing key decision makers to take into account the needs of deaf children.

Current Changes to Education for Deaf Children in Northern Ireland

This session took place in August 2020.

Join our expert, Alasdair O’Hara, for our live session for professionals working in Northern Ireland.

Due to COVID-19, there have been huge changes to how children are educated. In this session, Alasdair will be giving an overview of the national picture in Northern Ireland.

This will cover:

  • what we know about the current support available for deaf children in Northern Ireland
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with Special Educational Needs
  • our policy response and our advice for professionals
  • the wider re-opening of schools and the implications for deaf children.

Current Changes to Education for Deaf Children in England

This session took place in July 2020.

Join our expert, Ian Noon, for our first live session for professionals working in England.

Due to COVID-19, there have been huge changes to how children are educated. In this session, Ian will be giving an overview of the national picture in England.

This will cover:

  • what we know about the current support available for deaf children in England
  • the implications of school closures - in particular, providing online remote support and the impact on children with Education, Health, and Care (EHC) Plans
  • our policy response and advice for professionals
    the wider re-opening of schools and the implications for deaf children.
Our expert, Ian Noon, Chief Policy Advisor

Ian is our Chief Policy Advisor for the National Deaf Children’s Society. His work involves coordinating our policy and research work, as well as influencing the Government to make sure they take into account the needs of deaf children.

Current Changes to Education for Deaf Children in Wales

This session took place in July 2020.

Join our expert, Debbie Thomas, for our first live session for professionals working in Wales.

Due to COVID-19, there have been huge changes to how children are educated. In this session, Debbie will be giving an overview of the national picture in Wales.

This will cover:

  • what we know about the current support available for deaf children in Wales - in particular, the impact on children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs
  • our policy response and advice for professionals
  • the implications for deaf children in Wales with plans for the autumn term.
Our expert, Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy and Influencing for Wales

Debbie is our Head of Policy and Influencing for Wales and has worked for the National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru since 2008. Her work includes leading on our policy work in Wales and influencing key decision makers such as the Welsh Government to take into account the needs of deaf children.