Whatever type of deafness a child or young person lives with, they are likely to face barriers which prevents, or makes it difficult for them to seek information, advice or support.
It’s important to recognise that there is a wide range of support available to children and young people living with deafness, which enables them to gain an identity and feel more included in what is being communicated in the hearing world.
Offering support to the many different organisations working with children and young people living with deafness is vital and plays an important role in ensuring these children and young people have equal access and are kept safe.
It is also key to provide information and advice for parents and carers of deaf children and young people. It can be difficult to find organisations that work with deaf children and young people but equally, many local organisations or clubs are poorly equipped or skilled in working with deaf children and young people. This doesn’t mean to say that they can’t work with deaf children or young people.
Good practice tips for when working with deaf children and young people
There are thousands of groups that already work with a wide range of deaf children and young people from different backgrounds and with different needs. By enabling that the service provided effectively meets the needs of children and young people living with deafness is another element of this.
Some simple tips listed below will help your group work towards best practice for when working with children and young people living with deafness and to ensure they are kept safe when taking part in your groups activities:
- Make sure the child can see your lips and facial movements when you are talking.
- Try not to talk with your back turned.
- Speak naturally and try not raise your voice if the child wears a hearing aid.
- Try not to move around when you are speaking, if you have to move, try and face the child as much as possible.
- Ensure that directions, safety signs/equipment and all instructions are all dispalyed correctly before you let children living with deafness take part in your groups activities.
- Try and use visual aids when appropriate.
- Interact audio/video components in to your groups activities.
- Try and involve the children and young people in your groups activities or plans. Encourage them to give ideas on improving your groups visual aids.