Heathlands has a Total Communication Policy which recognises the importance of varied and individual communication approaches to support each child’s learning. For many this will include the effective use of hearing aids and cochlear implants to develop listening skills.
Qualified teachers of the deaf have specialist training in helping children learn to use and manage their auditory equipment. This is reinforced by the work of the Speech and Language Therapy team and the equipment/resources provided in the children’s room.
The school was built with the needs of deaf children in mind so classrooms were designed with optimum acoustic conditions for listening. Sound absorbing surfaces and careful choice of resources further contribute to an excellent listening environment. The Genie radio aid system is currently used during lessons, however, this will shortly be replaced by the Roger radio aid system.
There is an on-site audiology clinic and an Audiology Assistant who is able to undertake testing and routine maintenance of hearing aids. Close contact is established with each child’s hospital ENT/Audiology department so that any complex problems that arise are swiftly dealt with causing minimum disruption to the child. Ear moulds can be made at school by the audiology assistant thus reducing time needed out of school for audiological support.
The County Educational Audiologist visits weekly to provide support, guidance and training. Individual pupils can be referred to the audiologist for assessment when classroom staff feel further advice is needed to maximize their auditory potential.