University of Edinburgh

Scottish Sensory Centre Residential Conference

Friday, 24th and Saturday, 25th March, 2006

Language and Deaf Education: Into the 21st Century

Evaluation Summary

Number of Participants: 98 Number of Respondents: 61

Overall Assessment:

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1 Poor = 5

Enhancement to your expertise 1.82
Content and supplementary material 1.70

How will you use what you have learned?

Sharing and reflecting with colleagues

  • Disseminate to team.  Inform practice and policy making at service level.
  • Share with colleagues.
  • Share with colleagues. 
  • Cascade to colleaguesShare with colleagues and parents
  • Discussion with colleagues; working with parents.
  • Dissemination of information with colleagues.  Try to reflect theory in my practice.
  • As whole team at this conference we will discuss many of the issues raised and hopefully take on some aspects.
  • As a guide to structuring further CPD activities.
  • Communicate with work colleagues about issues that arose through talks and plan for future.
  • Try to disseminate good practice to other professionals I work with.
  • My colleagues and I seem to be on the right track, which was nice to hear, but we realised a lot of work still to do.
  • Cascade to other staff. 
  • Gave lots of discussion topics for myself and colleagues.
  • Take it back for discussion with colleagues.
  • Application at operational and strategic levels to improve joint working and provision of services.
  • Discuss (use of language) with colleagues who attended/did not attend this course.

Affecting the way I think about/work with children’s learning – general

Return to the children with a renewed vigour.

  • Reflecting on my own practice
  • Reflect on practice.
  • Lots of food for thought – have found the speakers quite inspirational.
  • Reflect on my practice and utilise some different strategies to enhance my teaching/pupils’ learning. 
  • Thought-provoking re approach to many aspects of work practice.
  • Help discussions/practice, on policies, teaching methods.  Gave ideas on follow-up reading to develop ideas.
  • It reinforced some of the things I learned being new to Deaf education.  Also made me want to read more research, re-evaluate teaching methods.
  • Content of conference will enhance my expertise once I have reflected on all the excellent presentations – particularly Marc, Connie and Sue Gregory.
  • Unsure since most young people I work with are 12+ years and rather set in their ways.  For any young children, I would very much like to consider Connie Mayer’s information.
  • In my day to day approach to my pupils and in personal CPD research.
  • Re-evaluate some elements of delivery of teaching and learning, in my school.
  • I will use the value information for my work at mainstream secondary school (deaf children).
  • I will ‘enjoy’ the rubic cube metaphor and I will attempt to incorporate ‘research’ info into my teaching practice.
  • Will inform my practice in teaching deaf pupils and inform plans for development.

Affecting the way I think about/work with children’s learning – specific

Language and communication planning/policy development

  • Good to hear that in our area we are on the right lines. Take back ideas.  Seriously considering the language planning policy – re-visit our own.
  • Revisit policy on language and communication.
  • Reflect on language teaching with pupils.
  • To be more aware of what matters in language and education – communication – that we do it!  Work together – focus on child’s needs.
  • “Be flexible in terms of language and communication..”
  • Reflect again on my use of language with pupils


  • Literacy skills in particular have been in our thoughts - with regard to changes in practice. Knowledge gained this weekend will inform us of adjustments and change of emphasis necessary to effect improved approach.

Work with families with young deaf children

  • Consider what I learned about working with families with young deaf children – a new area for me.
  • Will look up ‘True Case Study’ discussed by Alys Young to inform discussions/advice to parents.
  • Investigate the “True Case Study”.

Pupil learning styles

  • Have already raised some of these issues so reassuring! I will be thinking more about learning styles and helping deaf children to greater achievement.
  • Reflect on how deaf children learn and adapt practice.
  • Demand opportunity for children to continue to be taught according to their distinctive learning style.


  • Try to influence provision of BSL training for young deaf children and their families,  Steve’s idea of appropriate video material (signed) for under 3s who are deaf.
  • Looking at sign language in general and strategies practice.
  • Raise discussion/debate about the place of bilingualism. Be more aware of how children learn/ acquire/use sign language.

Pupils with Cochlear implants

  • In my practice with CI children.


  • Encourage flexibility. Continue to push that inclusion for deaf pupils does not mean going to the local mainstream school, often as the only deaf child, and rather that the pupil be placed where they have deaf peers.

Informing academic study

  • Thought-provoking. Useful information for essays.
  • Learning, teaching and research at my University – for the benefit of deaf and hearing students.
  • Use it in my academic studies.
  • Further reading.
  • It will influence further reading.


  • I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information.  Once I have been over my notes I will look at research in terms of my own experience.
  • Not sure, I have learnt so much.
  • Not much. Not very relevant to my job working with mainstream children.
  • Difficult to say – immediately after the conference.

Course presentation

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1 Poor = 5

Clarity of presentation 1.42


Pacing of course/event


Too much!! Loved it, but brain just couldn’t cope at the end of Friday.
However, I was tired at the end of Day 1 presentations.
More breaks, even 5 mins.

What was best about the conference?

Presentations generally

  • The speakers and their presentations, great idea to make it home-based speakers and international speakers as classroom teachers rarely get ‘time out’
  • Variety of excellent speakers
  • Hearing speakers from outside UK.  Chances for these are few and far between in Scotland.
  • The speakers were first class.
  • The first class speakers – who inspired – very important when I am peripatetic.
  • Very informative and thought provoking talks and discussions. 
  • Seeing what is happening ‘globally’ in the education of the deaf.
  • Variety of speakers and quality of speakers.  Excellent mix of views and information about resources available.
  • Diversity of presenters and high quality of skilled knowledge presenters displayed.
  • Quality of speakers.
  • Listening to researchers and speakers. Young people’s family (deaf or hearing) and reading seemed to be the key to their success – and is true of many others in my 25 years of working with deaf people.
  • Good speakers that seldom come to Scotland.
  • The range of speakers from all areas, brought to us!  The quality and diversity of the presentations was excellent. 
  • The rich variety of speakers from around the world.  So much fascinating information.
  • Confirmation that flexibility is the key to success – great to hear that the speakers agree.
  • Variety of speakers – very informative.
  • Choice of presenters.
  • Hearing first hand form researchers/authors.
  • Variety of topics presented. 
  • Hearing about the research being done in Deaf Education.
  • Hearing about what goes on [] in areas the speakers were from.
  • Range and quality of presenters.
  • Famous speakers.  Diversity of speakers and views.
  • Variety of speakers. 
  • Balance of content between speakers.  International perspective – inspiring.
  • Challenging ideas, thought-provoking informative high quality of speakers and communication.
  • Calibre of presentations was very high.
  • Being given the opportunity to attend such a high standard of professional presentations from international speakers committed to deaf education.
  • Refreshing to listen to the people who are producing these research materials as it is not always possible to find time to ‘read’ and digest these documents. Also hearing about what’s out there.
  • Excellent variation of speakers.
  • High standard of practice shared – obvious high level of research.
  • Variety of speakers.
  • All speakers excellent – diverse discussion. 
  • The quality and standard of the international presentations.
  • Would love to participate in similar style of conference with speakers from abroad – always nice to hear others’ perspective.
  • A good mix of people from other parts of the world.
  • A great gathering of educators!! – Worthwhile and current.

Specific presentations

  • Connie Mayer – some practical information which could be used.
  • Presentations from Marc Marschark and Steve Nover.  Further food for thought from Sue Gregory and Harry Knoors.  The young deaf people talking about their experiences. 
  • Some of the speakers were excellent.  The one I didn’t find useful was Marc Marschark – but it went uphill after that: having been here until the end, maybe if Marc had come at the end, I’d have felt differently.
  • Great speakers – fantastic to hear Marc after reading so many of his books.  Really interesting ideas and issues raised by all speakers.  Great to meet and network with colleagues from across Scotland and beyond.
  • Really enjoyed talks on Language Planning and Enlightened Empirical Approach and Connie Mayer. The speakers were excellent.  Thought-provoking presentations.
  • Access to expert knowledge. Moving and mixing ideas/experiences.  Good to hear different points of view.
  • Sue Gregory – down to earth – reality of family life.  Connie Mayer had something new to offer.  Harry Knoors also said things (in a very accessible way) I was pleased to consider and think about. 
  • Connie Mayer’s presentation!  Superb!
  • Access to international speakers/researchers, in particular Marc Marschark and Connie Mayer.  Focus on alternative international approaches.
  • Connie Mayer and Harry Knoors.
  • Connie Mayer – very clear, practical lecture.  It was varied, including humour, children’s examples, non-scientific language – excellent.
  • Excellent speakers, particularly Connie Mayer, Harry Knoors and Sue Gregory.
  • Connie Mayer’s presentation. ‘True Case Study’ – very interesting though answers to questions would be helpful!
  • Connie Mayer’s talk.  Former pupils – they can tell us as it really is.
  • Sue Archbold and Connie Mayer engaged my interest most because of practical elements/relevance of subject to current working situation.
  • Connie May was fantastic – really interesting!
  • Connie Mayer’s presentation – practical ideas.
  • Friday – lots of questions but not answers apart from Connie.  More sessions of her please. Saturday – liked Harry Knoors.

Focus on evidence-based practice

  • The focus on evidence-based practice. Vitally important as we make decisions re future of deaf education.
  • Generally, genuinely, the most informative weekend in terms of effect on working practices in relation to aspects of parent support. Also approach to reading skill with one particular ‘slow’ reader.
  • Research – practice gap – planning needed to narrow this.


  • The atmosphere
  • Positive and informative.

Remembering Mary Brennan/evening event

  • Thinking/remembering Mary Brennan.
  • Friday evening event.
  • Friday evening deaf poetry/interpretation of poetry.
  • Remembering Mary by a conference which will help teacher practice in the classroom.
  • I was a student of Mary Brennan – it was nice to be remembering her.
  • Dinner and evening entertainment very good.

Access arrangements

  • Fantastic voiceovers, note-takers, signers, technology.

Small group discussions/networking

  • Chance to meet other colleagues/ToDs and exchange ideas.
  • Meeting other people.
  • Networking/discussion.
  • Meeting of other like-minded professionals.
  • Opportunity to listen to others and talk to others involved with deaf children.
  • Enjoyed mixing with others and informal networking.
  • It was really good to re-meet with other practitioner friends/colleagues and mull over points made by the presenters.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Points raised in discussion.
  • Meeting people – chance to network. Discussions with other delegates.
  • Also great to have so much time for networking! 
  • Opportunity to meet other people working/interested in Deaf Education. 
  • Meeting colleagues from other areas. 
  • Meeting up with other colleagues from different areas. Hearing about what goes on in these areas and in areas the speakers were from.
  • Chance to network and meet friends old & new!  Open discussion re deaf education.
  • Hearing different points of view both in formal and informal parts of the course. 
  • Opportunity to network, and learn and stimulate ideas.
  • Discussion.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • As it was so well attended (probably due to speakers and venue) it was a good opportunity to meet with colleagues from around Scotland
  • To mix with other teachers and have informal discussion is very important and helpful.
  • Good to meet other professionals and share experiences.


  • Venue – fantastic!
  • Good location and food.
  • Food.
  • Excellent meals in the restaurants.
  • Facilities were fine – clean room, plenty food.
  • Food excellent – service excellent.
  • Excellent food!
  • Food very good, good choice, accommodation excellent.


  • Nice to see a different set of exhibitors from the norm – very impressed with BAHA (Cochlear Europe).


  • Everything.
  • Fantastic mix
  • Wide range – maybe not quite able to appreciate yet how it impacts..
  • Everything

What, if anything, could have been improved about the conference?

A lot to take in/programming

  • First day very long, lots of information to take in.
  • One less presentation on Friday afternoon.  Too many facts and figures from Greg Leigh, not enough on the alternative approaches – so more on the latter.
  • Perhaps also a couple more comfort breaks – this was an ‘intensive’ programme!
  • More time at breaks and evening to interact with others and discuss talks.
  • Timing was ‘tight’ and presenters over-ran but as it was valuable info – perhaps more time allocated.
  • I know there was a need to maintain a tight schedule, but it was overwhelming.  No time to reflect and digest – perhaps one less speaker?
  • Pace too fast – some time for toilet breaks between each couple of lectures.
  • Allowing a little bit more time to meet with other people and go to the toilet.
  • Too much content.  Too little individual time to speak to other professionals or reflect on what was said by speakers.
  • More time for speakers and less time in groups.
  • Pace at times, although understandable, was quick.  Lunch breaks/coffee rushed. Moved from one speaker to another without time for comfort break.
  • Short breaks between presenters to enable people to refocus for next presentation.
  • More discussion time . . .  more time!
  • Friday afternoon was a bit overloaded having 3 speakers.  It was too much for me to take in.
  • As always – more time to assimilate/reflect on information and suggestions for change of current practice.
  • Three speakers on Friday afternoon was a bit too heavy, despite all 3 being interesting.
  • Timing – a lot of information presented in a short space of time.
  • Another day – for discussion groups including the speakers.
  • Nothing really – but nitpicking, it was a lot of information to take in. 
  • Timings were very tight.  A little more time to draw breath would have been helpful.
  • An extra day (or 2!) and an opportunity to consider what could be put into action locally and nationally – whilst the ‘experts’/researchers were still around.  Facilitating improved practice from an evidence base – in action.
  • Perhaps Friday afternoon was overloaded – very tired to take it all in.  Morning was excellent but needed a short break.
  • Slower pace – breaks between events please.
  • Too much sitting for long periods – opportunity to have brief breaks between speakers.
  • Would have been better to start earlier on Saturday therefore finish earlier for ease of travelling home.
  • Great deal of information all coming very quickly with one speaker following the other. A lot to take in.

Theory/practice balance

  • I didn’t feel I got any ideas to use on the ‘shop floor’.  We seem to talk round the same topics decade after decade and never reach any answers.  Huge ‘research’ type base of speakers – info interesting but not ‘usable’ in practice without more practical ideas.
  • A few handout sheets on some of the findings in research.  Research results are fine, but let’s have presenters who can give us ways forward and results of what has been tried and is successful.
  • Good to have again in a few years perhaps.  Lots to take in but very useful. Lots of interesting research, however, practical answers rather than just data presentation would be more beneficial.
  • Lots of interesting research but a bit too much data and not enough strategies suggested.  Lots of unanswered questions but interesting discussion.


  • A second ‘roving’ microphone would be useful.
  • Sound system!


  • More elbow room in the seating for conference. 
  • Elevation of screen or lecture theatre type seating.
  • I commented upon the 2 discussion groups in the one/split room and you ‘fixed it’ for us almost immediately – thank you.
  • Difficult to see OHP from back of room. 
  • Conference room too hot.  Difficult to see whole slides.
  • Could not read/see Marc’s presentation. 
  • Better seating, ie, not comfy for length of sitting time and hard to see screens from the back.
  • Access to seeing the full screen a problem for those in a fair amount of the room.
  • More comfy seats?!
  • Conference room not great – couldn’t see the screen for power point presentations.  Would have been better if given handouts.

Catering on arrival

  • After travelling long distance snack required with Friday morning coffee – long time till lunch.
  • A small point but we were disappointed with refreshments.  Initially when we arrived after 21/2 hour car journey a biscuit or similar would have been appreciated along with tea/coffee. During breaks we often ran out of water.
  • After 3-hour drive and a very early breakfast we were very hungry.  Scones or biscuits would have been very welcome at the first coffee break.
  • First morning – having travelled a long way to arrive and find no coffee break until 12.30 was a long time – I was hungry and in need of coffee!!

Small group discussions/networking

  • Groups too big and discussion not good quality.
  • Groups discussions – felt these were not of particular value.
  • Better grouping for discussion.
  • Found discussion groups quite large and intimidating for everyone to give opinions.  Discussion groups were sometimes dominated by ‘strong’ personalities.
  • More time to talk/discuss over coffee and especially lunch times – less time for the group discussions unless smaller ‘cosier’ groups or keep everyone in the large group as Saturday where speakers are there and can be questioned in person + keeps people from going off on own agenda.
  • Breakout groups could have had more focus.
  • Perhaps a little time to Network – but it has been a very good conference with very good speakers – stimulating.
  • Group discussions not really successful on Friday.
  • Discussion groups more focused.
  • I think the discussion sessions were not very useful; not much was discussed in the group.
  • Smaller groups for workshops with a presenter/one of the speakers leading it.
  • Discussion groups not worthwhile. Not much chance to discuss informally with colleagues.
  • Discussion groups large.


  • Exhibition space should have been elsewhere. The lecture room was too small and felt very camped – it was even awkward to take notes.  People further back could not see the entire screen.
  • Bigger exhibition.
  • Disappointing number of ‘stalls’ for a 2-day conference – same as for a BATOD day.
  • Disappointing number of exhibitors – why?
  • The exhibitions should have been placed downstairs – a couple left because they felt that the Friday had been a waste of time.
  • More exhibitors.

Evening event length and timing

  • While it was a wonderful idea to have a fitting tribute to Mary it was very drawn out, started over an hour later leaving little socialisation time. In addition it was physically uncomfortable – hot, stuffy, cramped and claustrophobic – feeling of being enclosed in the room.
  • The tribute to Mary was too long, late, loud, hot, stuffy and I felt confined in a small space with all doors shut – felt very uncomfortable.
  • Evening – would have been nice to be able to relax earlier than 10.20 pm. Heavily weighted towards sign.
  • Allowing Friday’s evening entertainment to be optional – or sticking to the time-frame suggested.
  • Definite overkill when evening session went on until after 10 pm.
  • Excellent overall but little time after dinner to meet socially.
  • Tribute to Mary Brennan – Oh dear!!
  • Friday evening event went on too late.
  • The evening event was way too long (a good hour longer than the timetable).
  • Evening event on Friday was OTT. After a day of being talked at with little break time to draw breath, we were yet again organised ‘to listen’. No time to mix together and discuss what is important to us.

Nothing could have been improved

  • Nothing (X five responses).


  • Some presenters quite condescending and patronising to both professionals and parents.
  • Booking into the rooms – obviously the hotel’s problem.
  • Too big a lunch!!

Any other comments regarding the conference?

(where appropriate, comments have been added to previous sections)


  • Ran smoothly, ran to times, enough time to meet and discuss after speakers and enough time to meet socially – well done!
  • Well organised, well executed, completely professional – inspiring content.
  • Great balance and appreciation of deafness.  Great organisation.
  • Perhaps longer time to enjoy the wonderful meals – lunches – and not feel so rushed. More time Friday evening for this would have been good.
  • Enjoyed the large groups discussions better than smaller groups.

Content of presentations

  • Still more questions than answers provided by the speakers.
  • I felt that there was a little bit of repetition in the content of the speakers’ lectures. Maybe this could have been avoided – or maybe it was meant to be this way?
  • Would like to have heard more details of Marc Marschark’s “21 points”.
  • Whilst it was interesting to have the ASL presentation by Steve, it would have been good to have someone like Clark Denmark to give the BSL perspective.


  • Written papers from the event would be useful.
  • Would be good to have a record of the weekend as Marc said 3.30 pm Saturday in closing.

General thanks/appreciation

  • I hope we can have a conference like this again. Thank you to the organisers.
  • Excellent.  I am glad I was here and feel sorry for my colleagues who didn’t attend and missed the thought-provoking ideas.
  • Thank you!  A fantastic conference.
  • A very fitting tribute to Mary Brennan. 
  • Great to have this conference in memory of Mary’s work.
  • An excellent memory to Mary.  She would have been proud and no doubt embarrassed to think all these people gathered together in honour of her work.  She will be sadly missed.  (Perhaps an idea to hold “A Mary Brennan Conference” annually or every two years – just a thought.)
  • Thank you for putting together such an interesting conference.  It has been a privilege to attend.
  • Thank you to organisers.
  • Brilliant!  So much good information/experience to sift through and digest.  Thank you so much!
  • I think overall the conference was very useful and I would like it to happen again. Really enjoyed it!! Please make it an annual event!!
  • When’s the next one?
  • Excellent.  A wonderful opportunity to meet together in remembrance of Mary.
  • Confirmed the complex nature of the field, whilst also highlighting the fragility of the infra-structure.  The closest opportunity to revisit Post Qualifying training, yet the only one I’ve been able to attend in over 20 years!!!
  • Thank you –Excellent.
  • Well organised. 


  • Is it to be an annual conference or even over two years?
  • Would have like a better constructed evaluation form in order to be able to comment on content/presentation of each presenter.  Interesting to note that no one from Crosshouse Implant Centre presented or attended Conference!

Location and Venue (Dunblane Hydro)

Convenient location for this conference: No Response 3, Yes 57, No 1

Excellent = 1 Poor = 5

Convenience of venue 1.75
Quality of venue 1.64

Likely to attend if venue was used again: No Response 4, Likely 56, Less Likely 1

  • Depending on cost - if self funding, current cost fine.
  • Venue is a consideration but not my main deciding factor
  • for attendance on a course.
  • Venue convenient if you are Scottish.  Train travel can be a problem.

What other CPD training would you like the SSC to provide?

More research link to practice – including conferences

  • More of the same.  The quality of presenters was outstanding. Would have liked to have longer – perhaps 3 days might have been more suitable for similar future events.  Through this conference I realised, in respect of deaf education, I would like more training in order to keep me up-to-date with findings so that I can adapt my own teaching to make improvements as I think most of us realise we need to keep up-to-date and, if necessary, change strategies so that our children can make the best of their access to the curriculum.
  • Some more focused sessions on Steve Nover, Connie Mayer and Marc Marschark’s work.
  • Would be good to have some research-type focus groups to find out about and discuss current research.
  • A ‘research club’ as suggested by Wendy McCracken to keep practitioners up-to-date.
  • An American colleague told us, in one of the groups, that after every conference, the teachers then got together the next day to discuss the impact on teaching skills, application of research, what needs to change, etc, resulting from what they had heard.  This would provide an excellent opportunity for reflection and discussion and then take up the challenge of change
  • More dissemination of research – national and international.
  • More of the same if possible – local practitioners with similar values/interests as explored this weekend.
  • How (what) to do Action Research in Deaf Education.
  • Update - impact of current research on current practice across Scotland!
  • Anything, more similar to this.  Many thanks.
  • Making/finding how to inform practice from best research and how to facilitate front-line practitioners ‘having to’ be involved.
  • To continue to look at linguistic issues and perhaps look more closely at how some of these studies we heard this weekend could impact on our children and teaching.
  • The Scottish teachers seemed isolated - so networking events for them would be welcomed by them.  (Thank you for an outstanding event.)
  • Happy to attend any events, which will increase my knowledge and understanding.

Early intervention

  • Working with hearing families with profoundly deaf babies/infants.
  • Working with families – newly diagnosed children.
  • Just a comment re NHSP in Scotland - Is Scottish Office not doing similar research projects/evaluations as English DoH have done – really lost opportunity for great research. Feel we need more training along same lines as happened in England regarding early intervention, counselling for ToDs/S&LTs involved with babies/families after early diagnosis.  Is Scotland getting similar info/leaflets/material available through Dfes/NDCS as England? Thought NDCS was transferring this to Scotland but haven’t seen any evidence of this. 
  • What to say to parents of newly diagnosed babies.
  • Newborn Hearing Screening – would grief counselling training be an idea for ToDs?

NB: Diploma course students are undertaking the ‘Working Together’ module in autumn. Something about multi-agency working - maybe with early diagnosis context? – would link into this. Dates of the modules are the following four Fridays: 3, 10 and24 November and 8 December. So any preceding Thursday would be good.
NB: Aberdeen also suggested that SSC provide a workshop on the use of the Early Support materials.

Language development/planning and literacy


  • Language development – how to encourage, etc.
  • Co-ordinated language planning Scotland-wide!
  • Some more focused sessions on Steve Nover and Marc Marschark
  • Planning and writing policies.


  • Some more focused sessions on Connie Mayer
  • More on reading and literacy skills.
  • Very interested in more from Connie Mayer. Practical suggestions would be really helpful.
  • Teaching reading to profoundly deaf pupils.
  • Secondary pupils with poor literacy skills – how to progress
  • More from Connie Mayer.
  • More from Connie Mayer please!!
  • Teaching of ‘phonics’ to Deaf children integrating into mainstream. Any specific research in this area and are there any materials available.
  • Teaching reading within a sign bilingualism h approach.
  • Was at the Frank Barnes course in Glasgow on 14th March. Would be interested in hearing more about this approach to teaching reading and writing. Perhaps when the resources and Toolkit pack has been published.
  • Place of sign language when teaching reading/writing.

NB: Diploma course students are undertaking the ‘Language, Communication and Literacy’ module in spring 07, so a language/literacy focused day attached to the module would be good. Dates of the module as follows: 1st/2nd March and 21,22,23 March. So either 28 Feb or 20 March would be good.

Mainstream support and access

  • Working in secondary school – different practices – to withdraw or support in class – good practice.
  • Secondary school support – in mainstream – practical solutions.
  • How can we provide the very best support for children in mainstream classrooms?  It would be good to be shown a list of practical approaches that teachers have successfully used with children in this situation.  So, maybe a day of sharing good, positive practice for teachers supporting deaf children included in mainstream schools.
  • It is not too difficult to talk the theory and go through research projects – what practitioners might (do) need is practical ideas; how to move the theories into the reality of education settings most of which are mainstream where (in a class of +/- 30) the deaf child is just one of often several children each of whom need their special needs to be met by one classroom teacher/subject teacher and the occasional visit of a specialist and in our case a ToD.  (Also, I see on reading this that I would need to improve my written work – sorry for the rather long sentence – Almost felt like starting the essay on this topic!)  Connie Mayer/Harry Knoors were the only people who suggested strategies.
  • Developments in Secondary Education especially with reference to successful programmes in other countries.


  • Anything on BSL.
  • SQA linked sign glossaries.
  • Assessing sign language/programme for teaching sign language.
  • Place of sign language when teaching reading/writing.
  • Development of sign language – use of BSL native user; ToD skills or lack of; assessment of.
  • CI and bilingualism.
  • Something about sign language.
  • Ongoing BSL – skills; assessment of pupils.
  • Any BSL Courses – Stage 2 and above.
  • The place of ‘interpreters’ in the field of Deaf Education.
  • Comparing resourcing of Gaelic-medium education with bilingual provision in Deaf Education.  I think this presents a huge opportunity to attain/obtain the level of resources so long sought and needed.  We need more Mary Brennans.  We have a very strong case.
  • Establishing BSL in a secondary mainstream school as a certificated subject for Deaf/hearing pupils.  Has this been done - best practice?

Assessment – multi agency working

  • Multi-agency training move towards integrated assessment framework/holistic assessment.
  • Maybe teachers getting together with S&LTs, cochlear implant teams, ie, health professionals with education (including auxiliaries, CTs) to discuss deaf issues and agendas to help us to understand each other and work together.
  • Establishing force to meet CPD needs across services, by SSC collaborating with others in Education, Social Work, Audiology, parents and with people who have benefited from or been ‘victims’ of services provided.

NB: Diploma course students are undertaking the ‘Working Together’ module in autumn.  Something about multi-agency working - maybe with early diagnosis context? – would link into this. Dates of the modules are the following four Fridays: 3, 10 and24 November and 8 December. So any preceding Thursday would be good.
NB: Aberdeen also suggested that SSC provide a workshop on the use of the Early Support materials.

Medical conditions/disabilities/learning diffs etc

  • More on Auditory Neuropathy.
  • Working with deaf and recognising different language problems – dyslexic, aphasic, etc, because I feel deaf are identified later than hearing children.
  • Children with additional needs as well as deafness.

Cochlear implants

  • Updates on Cochlear Implant Technology.
  • Using FM systems with cochlear implants.
  • CI and bilingualism.

How deaf children learn

  • Working with the severely deaf children – who do not sign – how they learn, etc.
  • Some more focused sessions on Marc Marschark’s work.


  • Audiology updates.

Practical info for everyday teaching

  • Topics/sessions that are of real practical help, giving us ideas for actual good practice in everyday teaching.


  • School leaver transition.

Counselling for deaf pupils

  • Counselling for deaf pupils.

Stop-gap training for untrained ToDs

  • There are a number of mainstream teachers coming into deaf services/units/schools.  It is not always possible for them to access the Post Grad training immediately.  I feel it would be useful to have CPD courses to fill the gap and provide them with some knowledge and insight about Deaf/deafness – culture and community included.

Children with mild-severe HL

  • Remember – there are other 'Deaf Children' apart from profoundly deaf who sign/have CI – we are after all Teachers of the Deaf – all HI children.