Heathlands has a Total Communication Policy which recognises the importance of varied and individual communication approaches to support each child’s learning.
For many pupils 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 sensory 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. Teaching areas have been assessed as meeting the relevant standards BB93. The Phonak Roger radio aid system is used during lessons and some rooms are equipped with soundfield systems.
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.
We also have good links with the County Educational Audiologist who provides support, guidance and training. Individual pupils can be referred to the audiologist for assessment when classroom staff feel further advice is needed to maximise their auditory potential.