University of Edinburgh

Working with Pupils with a Dual Sensory Impairment or Deaf Pupils with Complex Needs

Presented on Wednesday 26 November 2008


Increasingly professionals working with deaf young people need to be knowledgeable about not only deafness but also visual impairment and multiple disabilities. This course will comprise two presentations:

Deaf Children with Complex Needs: Terminology can be a gateway or a barrier to services. Changes in aetiology, society and in our knowledge base mean that as service providers we face new challenges. All children require a detailed assessment of needs that informs a clear medium term plan. Such assessment and planning are multifaceted and require multi-agency working to achieve optimum outcomes. The range of children and needs, approaches to assessment, medium term plans and the importance of multi-agency working in this context will be discussed. Delegates will be asked to work in small groups to consider case studies that explore some of the challenges. We will work together to identify ways forward and possible approaches to meeting multiple learning needs.

Teaching and working with Pupils who have a Dual Sensory Impairment: Blind and visually impaired pupils will use their sense of touch and of hearing primarily to communicate and to learn about the world. Deaf and hearing impaired pupils will use sight. The pupil with dual sensory impairment cannot use either of these major distance senses to compensate effectively and will have difficulties with communication, with accessing information and in moving around. This presentation will look at the difficulties faced by the dual sensory impaired pupil and at some of the methods and strategies developed and used successfully over the years in working with this group of learners. Some of the underpinning theory will be explored and its relevance to today’s educational climate discussed.

Target Audience: all professionals working with deaf pupils.

Presenters: Wendy McCracken, Senior Lecturer in the Education of the Deaf, University of Manchester and
Jane Eyre, Hazelwood School, Glasgow (formerly Carnbooth School)
Eileen Burns, Teacher of the Deaf and CPD Organiser for Deaf Education, SSC


10.20 am  Introduction Eileen Burns

10.30 am Working with deaf pupils with complex needs: Wendy McCracken
Challenges associated with diversity of needs
Review of our skills
Analysing case studies
Approaching the challenges