University of Edinburgh

How can schools better support children who are mildly and moderately deaf?

Presented on Monday, 5th December 2016


International and UK research evidence was presented about the social and academic outcomes for mildly and moderately deaf children learning in mainstream schools. Discussion focused on ways schools and class teachers can change the environment and the support they offer this relatively large group of deaf learners so that the peripatetic support from teachers of deaf children has more impact.

In the afternoon there was input from a number of organisations and agencies to help introduce acoustic and language development improvements in school.


Participants said:

"Yes! I feel so much more informed and able to help."

"Assortment of fantastic speakers and variety of subject knowledge/presentation. Also, the students speaking to us. They were fabulous!"

"Hugely informative, great interactivity, great chat with different people."

Target Audience

Mainstream headteachers and classroom teachers, teachers of deaf children, ASN co-ordinators, classroom assistants, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists and parents/carers.


Rachel O’Neill is a lecturer in deaf education at the University of Edinburgh and is programme director for the MSc in Inclusive Education and co-ordinates the deaf education pathway for teachers of deaf children.

Brian Shannan is an educational audiologist, teacher of deaf children in Fife, PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and teaches on Postgraduate diploma for teachers of deaf children.

Joe O’Donnell is an educational audiologist and a teacher of deaf children who supports several Scottish Local Authorities with audiology guidance


10 am Research and practice about supporting deaf children with mild/moderate deafness in schools and their educational outcomes. Rachel O’Neill

10.45 am Classroom acoustics and listening in noise. Brian Shannan

11.30 am Developing an evidence-based pupil profile and self-advocacy skills for deaf pupils. Joe O’Donnell

1.15 pm Fair activity with stalls:

  • Optix (pop up pods)
  • Phonak (FM systems)
  • Ecophon (improving class acoustics)
  • Young people with moderate deafness who will reflect on their experiences

2.45 pm Conclusion - Making a school’s action plan for improving outcomes for mildly/moderately deaf pupils.

3.30 pm Course evaluation and close