Supporting deaf children

Our Technology Consultant Paul Harris has been working with the charity Chloe and Sophie’s Special Ears Fund (CSSEF) to develop technology to help deaf children in the classroom.

CSSEF’s is committed to supporting the emotional wellbeing of deaf children. During the pandemic, they have provided hearing aid batteries and facemasks free of charge.

Now, with the return to school, the charity is going further by offering Speech to Text Loan Kits for deaf children to use at school. Paul has been involved in sourcing, testing and adapting suitable tablets and accessories that can run speech to text software throughout the school day. Find out more.

CSSEF have launched the Kits in response to concerns that mask wearing, which conceals lip movements and muffles sounds, will disadvantage deaf children in the classroom.

Founder Karen Jackson says: ‘When the Government announced that face masks would need to be worn in schools, we knew we had to do something. We focused first on clear panel facemasks, but knew that technology would be needed urgently to provide subtitles.  

We were mindful that the mental health of deaf children would be affected. We needed a solution. I contacted Paul. He came back to me very quickly with what would work, how it would work and where to buy it. Paul’s support and guidance are invaluable.

We have received numerous enquiries from schools, raising their concerns about their child’s mental health. As a parent of two daughters, both deaf, I fully understand the importance of having access to the teacher’s voice in a pandemic. We do not need to isolate deaf children any more than they are already isolated at school.  

We really do hope that the Speech to Text Loan Kits make a significant improvement to their mental health.’

Paul says: ‘This was an interesting and challenging time-sensitive project to provide a method that would last all day, include a wireless microphone and be easy to set up and use for the class teacher.’

Please contact us, throughout and after the Kit loan period, for independent and impartial audiological advice. We can also show you how different wireless microphones can hear and link in a similar way to the technology provided in CSSEF’s Kits.