New staff, teachers studying for the mandatory qualification for teachers of the deaf, or teaching assistants who have not previously worked with deaf children may benefit from training in specific areas to improve their skills and confidence.
Experienced staff may also wish to update their skills and practice to incorporate developments in technology or educational policies.
Such training might be provided as a one-off visit or developed into a programme run over several terms incorporating face-to-face meetings and telephone/email support. Training might incorporate:
- Demonstrating and practising test equipment procedures such as the use of hearing aid analysers and Phonak FM programming
- Using specific manufacturer software such as Phonak Successware and how to get the most from it
- Discussing and demonstrating the use of audiological equipment in different learning situations
- Establishing routine checks and trouble-shooting procedures
- Using commercial materials to assess language, literacy and numeracy
- Reviewing existing resources and their use
- Developing a range of strategies for in-class and Resource Base support
- Considering the application or modification of whole-school policy documents
Supporting language acquisition
The Ewing Foundation was invited to provide training to a group of learning support assistants about the role of adults in supporting language acquisition both at home and in school.
The training started with a presentation and discussion, followed by appraisal of a video of their interaction with pupils. They identified two aspects of interaction that they wished to improve during the following month. They were then filmed again and the LSAs self-evaluated the changes that they had made and the impact on the pupil’s participation.
This ensured that pupils were effectively included whilst receiving the necessary support for language development.
Stand-alone training day
A service with experienced, new and trainee ToDs requested a full day’s training on literacy with a focus on phonics and assessment.
The introduction invited staff to reflect on models of reading, their own understanding of literacy and the impact of this on the way they supported reading with deaf pupils.
Phonological development was described and its relationship to the phonics strand of the literacy strategy explored; experienced staff shared their experience with less experienced staff.
Several reading assessments were available for staff to view and their benefits and disadvantages were discussed.
Throughout the day, the difficulties experienced by individual pupils they taught were addressed in relationship to the theoretical models.