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A Bright Start for Every Deaf Child

Online sessions for practitioners supporting deaf children in early years settings

This series of four interactive sessions will provide you with the understanding and tools to support deaf children in early years settings (nurseries, creches, pre-school and reception).

You’ll learn about deaf-specific topics, including learning and development for deaf children, the impact deafness may have on a child in an early years setting, and how to improve childcare provision. These sessions will cover children with all levels of deafness.

You’ll also find out how you can apply your new skills to support individual children in your setting.

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Session details

Together We Can Implement Effective Transition for Deaf Children

Thursday 22 February 2024, 6pm to 7.30pm

In this session, we’ll discuss the importance of a positive, smooth transition for deaf children joining an early years setting.

At the end of the session, you’ll be able to:

  • explain the stages of transition
  • identify the key players in the transitional process
  • understand the impact deafness has on transition
  • understand how to overcome barriers to effective transition
  • understand how you can support a deaf child’s transition.

Together We Can Improve Language and Communication

Thursday 29 February 2024, 6pm to 7.30pm

Communication is one of the most important areas of development for deaf children. In this session, you’ll learn about how deafness impacts language and communication, and how you can remove barriers to learning.

At the end of the session, you’ll be able to:

  • understand the impact of deafness on language and communication
  • identify barriers to language and communication that deaf children might face
  • understand how to reduce or remove barriers to improve opportunities and learning
  • understand how to improve language learning through phonics, peer-to-peer learning, and reading and writing.

Together We Can Be Ready for Parents as Partners

Thursday 7 March 2024, 6pm to 7.30pm

In this session, we'll discuss the emotional impact that bringing up a deaf child can have on parents.

You’ll learn from a guest speaker who’ll share their experiences of raising a deaf child, choosing childcare, and supporting their child through the early years.

At the end of the session, you’ll be able to:

  • understand the emotional impact raising a deaf child can have on parents
  • understand the transition process and what parents look for when choosing a childcare setting
  • understand how best to support and communicate with parents throughout their child’s time in your setting
  • create a smooth, stable and supportive environment for a deaf child.

Together We Can Promote Social and Emotional Development

Thursday 14 March 2024, 6pm to 7.30pm

In this session, we’ll look at how early emotional development plays a part in all areas of learning. We’ll explore how the early stages of a child’s life can impact their confidence, resilience, perseverance, relationships, and friendships later in life.

You’ll learn about Theory of Mind, Attachment theory, identity and self-esteem. You’ll also discover how you can support help make sure deaf children to get equal access to emotional understanding.

At the end of the session, you’ll be able to:

  • understand how deafness impacts personal, social, and emotional development (PSE)
  • understand the importance of PSE development in all other areas of development and learning
  • be aware of the barriers to PSE for deaf children and know how to overcome them.
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Joining our events online

These sessions will be on Zoom, which you can access on your computer, laptop, phone or tablet.

To be able to fully participate in activities during the sessions, we’d recommend using a desktop or laptop. Other devices may not allow all functionality.

For more information, watch or download our guide to joining online events.

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Communication support for our events

We can provide captions and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for you. Please let us know your preferences on the booking form.

If you have any questions or require any other communication or language support, please email [email protected].

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Meet your host

Emma Simmons, Programme Delivery Officer

Emma has been supporting deaf children and their families since 2000 and has worked for the National Deaf Children's Society since 2009. During her time at the charity, Emma has taken on various roles, including Mentor Co-ordinator, Youth Worker, SEN CA, and Advice and Guidance Officer. She brings lots of valuable experience to her current role as Programme Delivery Officer.

Emma lives in a small seaside town called Portrush in Northern Ireland. In her free time, Emma enjoys good food and wine, books, travel and being outdoors on the beach with family, friends and her dog, Ivy.

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Pre-recorded sessions

Together We Can Tell Sensory Stories

This is a pre-recorded session that you can access once you’ve attended any of the other Together We Can sessions.

Storytelling and shared reading experiences with deaf children are an essential tool for language, communication, literacy and emotional and social development. In this session, we’ll look at how using sensory items during story time can help deaf children build their literacy skills and encourage a love of books.

This session will help you:

  • understand the importance of books and reading for deaf children
  • understand why sensory play is essential for learning and development
  • create your own sensory story experiences in your setting
  • understand why memories are important and how to use these while creating books and during play.

Together We Can Use Basic British Sign Language

This is a pre-recorded session that you can access once you’ve attended any of the other Together We Can sessions.

Being able to use different communication methods can support a deaf child's development. British Sign Language (BSL) is an important method of communication that some deaf children use.

In this session, we’ll look at how having a basic understanding of BSL can help a deaf child feel more comfortable and confident around you, as well as being able to learn from you and convey their wants and needs.

This session will help you:

  • understand the purpose of BSL, its form, structure and how it’s used by deaf children and adults
  • learn how to fingerspell your own name
  • learn some simple BSL signs and understand how to use them in context, during songs and rhymes
  • understand the importance of signing throughout the day with or without a deaf child present or involved in the conversation.