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Free online deaf awareness course for teachers launched

25 May 2021

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and the UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre have created a free online deaf awareness course for teachers.

Teacher in classroom with interactive board. Image: Phil Meech for UCL Institute of Education

The course covers topics such as the importance of deaf awareness in the classroom setting, different perspectives of deafness, strategies for communicating with deaf pupils, and how to create a deaf-supportive learning environment. Course participants will hear from deaf and hard of hearing young people and education professionals who will share their real-life experiences.

One or two of every 1,000 children born in the UK has permanent hearing loss, and intermittent hearing loss due to ear infections is very common in the school years. Despite this, few teachers are aware of how to communicate with, and support the learning of, deaf and hard of hearing pupils. The Online Deaf Awareness Training for Teachers aims to provide the necessary support.

Designed for education professionals who occasionally or regularly support deaf pupils, the course can be completed at the learner's own pace in 2-3 hours. It aims to help participants:

  • employ appropriate behaviours and language when interacting with deaf pupils
  • distinguish between communication preferences and adapt communication to pupils’ needs
  • recognise legal requirements to provide reasonable adjustments related to disability
  • identify commonly used assistive technologies and apply them to the needs of pupils.

Professor Chloë Marshall, course co-lead, said: “As a former Early Years teacher, I'm now conscious about how little I knew at the time about the communication needs of the deaf and hard of hearing children in my care. This Deaf Awareness course contains all the information I should have known then but didn't, and I hope it will empower education professionals to support their deaf and hard of hearing pupils better.”

Find out more and register for the course

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Phil Meech for UCL Institute of Education