Who are we and what do we do?
In 2016-17 the Hearing Support Service (HSS) supported children and young people across Perth and Kinross who had a level of deafness. This support included advising to school staff, supporting pupils in the classroom, supplying additional listening technology for the classroom, and providing opportunities for parents and children to get together.
Over the year we worked with a group of teenagers from secondary schools across Perth and Kinross. With funding from the council’s See Hear Project we invited pupils to take part in a film-making project – Listen Up! This project was to address two goals: to address the sense of isolation sometimes felt by young deaf pupils; and to enable them to identify shared issues at school. To do this we organised a series of get-togethers for them, and gave them the task of producing a deaf awareness DVD for school staff. We had eight pupils from seven secondary schools, who met up several times over the year.
We had fantastic help from Lindsey Harris, Fairview School’s Community Link Worker, and Ray Bradshaw, who works with Action on Hearing Loss (AoHL). Ray is a stand-up comedian whose own parents are profoundly deaf. He works for AoHL to support young people moving on from school. With Ray’s support the pupils discussed issues they had in common and from this they wrote, directed and starred in their own short film illustrating how hard it can be at school if you have a hearing loss.
Our service was then able to incorporate the film into our deaf awareness training for school staff. The message is so much stronger because it is coming from the young people themselves.
Along with Angus and Dundee City Councils we held a day’s conference for deaf secondary pupils in March at the Discovery Centre in Dundee.
We ran this with support from the national Deaf Children’s Society and Action on Hearing Loss. Chaired by Ray Bradshaw and a profoundly deaf university student, the pupils had the opportunity to share experiences as well as discuss the current moves across Scotland to recognise British Sign Language as a language and to embed it further in society.
An artist from Crieff, Neil Thomson, captured the day in a series of cartoons, and some pupils also had their caricatures done by Neil.
Little Buds met monthly over the year. This is a Baby and Toddler Group for wee ones with a hearing and/or visual impairment
Little Buds offered the opportunity for parents to get together and chat over a cuppa.
Each family had an individual session with Perth and Kinross’ Music Therapist where they enjoyed listening, singing and playing music together.
Teachers from the Hearing Support Service and Visual Impairment Team, and a specialist Speech and Language Therapist were on hand to offer support, advice and information.
Raising Awareness with Teachers
At the start of each academic year we offer an evening training session for school staff to raise their knowledge and understanding of deafness, and learn practical deaf-friendly teaching approaches for their classroom.
In 2016 the session included presentations from Audiology, Speech and Language, HSS and a Head Teacher.
Feedback from delegates was very positive:
“It was very useful, informative and to the point”
“The information about cochlear implants was very interesting, and it was good to actually see and handle a real one”
“I feel much better informed to be able to support the child”
And in other news…
The HSS continued to support children and young people across the authority. Receiving referrals from NHS and with parental consent we supported over 100 pupils.
We also regularly work with many professionals from other authorities and voluntary and private sectors including:
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Angus Council Sensory Services
- Children’s Hearing Service Working Group
- Dundee Council Sensory Services
- Health Visitors
- National Deaf Children’s Society
- NHS Audiology
- NHS Speech and Language
- PKC Community Link Team
- SeeHear Training Group
- Vision PK
Audrey Cowie firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley McGuigan email@example.com
Telephone: 01738 472481