Whatever type of deafness a child or young person lives with, they are likely to face barriers which either 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 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. Ensuring that the service provided effectively meets the needs of children and young people living with deafness is an important element of this.
Some simple tips listed below will help your group work towards best practice when working with children and young people living with deafness and help ensure they are kept safe when taking part in your group's 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 displayed correctly before you let children living with deafness take part in your group's activities.
- Try and use visual aids when appropriate.
- Include interactive audio/video components in your group's activities.
- Try and involve the children and young people in your group's activities or plans. Encourage them to give ideas on improving your group's visual aids.