University of Edinburgh

SSC Bulletin 8: June 2012

Sharing information with everyone who is involved in the education of deaf children, deafblind children and visually impaired children and young people, the young people themselves and their families.

SSC Courses

    Coming up ...

    Monday, 10 September, 2012
    Update on Cochlear Implants (FREE)
    Venue: Dundee

    Over the last two decades Cochlear Implants have been developed until now children as young as one year old can be implanted. It is crucial that as staff working with children who are cochlear implant users we ensure our knowledge and understanding continues to be updated in order to help the user gain optimum benefit from their implant as well as supporting their families. This course will cover the following: cochlear implants; an overview; a practical guide (daily checks, fault-finding and FM); rehabilitation techniques.
    NB: teas/coffees will be provided. Please bring your own packed lunch - it will be possible to purchase food locally if preferred.

    Target Audience: Heads of Services, teachers of deaf children, mainstream teachers, support staff, etc.

    Presenters: Cochlear Implant Team, Crosshouse

    Wednesday, 12 September, 2012
    Sensory Play and Learning for VI children

    This course is designed for those with an interest in sensory work with young children who are visually impaired or who have complex needs. It is relevant to those who have access to multisensory equipment and sensory rooms but the emphasis is on the creation of simple, low cost resources. The aims of the course are to enable participants to: consider the importance of sensory work as a powerful tool in our interactions with children, and the use of sensory work to encourage communication, learning and decision-making.

    Target Audience: Early years workers, teachers, parents, carers, staff and volunteers who are interested in sensory work with young children, with children with VI, or with children who have complex needs.

    Presenter: Judy Denziloe

    Wednesday, 26 September, 2012
    Educational Communication Worker in Deaf Education

    Is there a role for an Educational Communication Worker (ECW)? This course will raise challenging issues for deaf education in Scotland. The number of children who use British Sign Language (BSL) is rapidly shrinking as early implantation becomes the norm for most profoundly deaf children. Nevertheless, a proportion of deaf children and their families want BSL or Sign Supported English (SSE) to be used fluently throughout the education system.

    Rachel O'Neill and Leigh Anderson will discuss the training routes for support staff who wish to work as an ECW. Discussion will also include issues relevant for employers of ECWs including the use of skills tests at interview. The day will include discussion of video clips of classrooms showing support staff at work so that we can see the skills needed to interpret into BSL for one or more deaf learners, and to interpret from BSL to spoken English for the teacher and hearing pupils. We will focus on two educational settings to explore these issues.

    Target Audience: Heads of Services, teachers of deaf children, mainstream teachers, support staff, etc.

    Presenter: Rachel O'Neill, Lecturer in Deaf Education, SSC/University of Edinburgh and Leigh Anderson, Sensory Support Service, Dundee and others to be confirmed.

    Thursday, 27 September 2012
    iPads and iPods in Special and Inclusive Education

    There will be lots of inspirational apps and ideas for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. This is not an advanced course - there will be no technical language or explanations!! Bring your own iPad with you if you wish and share your ideas with other practitioners. The course will cover: working with iTunes accounts; using an iPod/iPad to enhance active learning; apps to stimulate engagement, attention & interaction; iPads and autism; controlling sensory environments with iPads amongst other topics.

    Target Audience: This course is aimed at parents teachers and other professionals working with learners who additional support needs including sensory impairments with complex needs, including autism in special schools, units and colleges and for those working in inclusive pre 5's settings.

    Presenter: This course has been specifically designed and will be presented by Richard Hirstwood, Hirstwood Training Ltd.


    SSC News

    The Education of Children and Young People with Sensory Impairment in Scotland

    One of the major pieces of work that the SSC was undertaking this year was our survey of Heads of Sensory Services regarding the numbers and profile of children with sensory impairment and the numbers and profile of the specialist staff provided to help them. This report is now complete and can be accessed on the

  • SSC Website
  • BSL Glossary: Physics

    Following a presentation at the Royal Academy of Engineering last week by the BSL Glossary team, the more recent work of the SSC Glossary Project relating to Physics has featured in the New Scientist:

  • weblink
  • VI Scotland News - Activities Weekend
    Family Residential Weekend 21st-23rd September 2012 Auchengillan Adventure Centre, Blanefield, Stirlingshire
    This weekend organised by VICTA and VI Scotland is designed to give visually impaired children and their families the opportunity to meet others in similar situations and to share their experiences. There will be a wide range of activities for children and a number of parent’s workshops and informal discussion sessions where parents will have an opportunity to discuss aspects of visual impairment with each other and with people working in the fields of health and accessible education and technology. Includes supervised activities: Kayaking/canoeing; Fencing; Climbing; Archery; Raft building; Pole climb; Circus skills; Orienteering; Water waltzers and self-supervised activities: Basketball, short-tennis, badminton; Snowy Creek obstacle course; Games room; Beaver trail; Pedal Karts; Grass sledging; Parachute games; Nature walk; Outdoor swimming pool. For more information and booking forms please contact SSC:


    "In Other News ..."

    Early Communication in Deafblind Children Project
    This joint project with Glasgow Caledonian, Cardiff and Middlesex Universities aims to investigate the early communication of Deafblind children. They wish to discover strategies that children use to 'call' for attention, make requests or share interest in the world. The results of this project will help to provide some valuable hints to inform practice and families. The research team would like to hear from parents of deafblind children under 7 years old and you can take part in the project in Glasgow, Cardiff or London. The Project is supported by SENSE.

  • For more information:
  • Contact:
    or telephone 0141 331 3856 or 0790 695 7714
  • Executive Skills in Deaf Children Research project
    A new 3-year project has begun to investigate how deaf children’s planning and decision making skills develop over time. The project team are looking for deaf children aged 5-11 years using BSL, SSE or oral communication methods who have no additional disabilities. They will be required for one hour, twice during a 2 year period to take part in child friendly computer and language games in school or at home. Book vouchers will be given as a thank you to participants. For more information please contact Tanya Denmark,

  • email:
  • ---

    Library News

    The latest issue of Deafness and Education International (June 2012) goes back to basics with articles on the 'three Rs' for deaf pupils including one on the mathematics skills of a gifted young deaf child, and two articles on literacy and reading comprehension.

    The British Journal of Visual Impairment (May 2012) contains articles relating to deafblindness. One is based on a study of children with CHARGE syndrome reporting on the first section of their questionnaire which concentrates on Diagnosis. The other is a research report on the identification of congenital deafblindness in Denmark.


    SSC is a national centre funded by the Scottish Government (Learning Directorate, Support and Wellbeing) and the University of Edinburgh.

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