University of Edinburgh

Preparing Deaf Students for Exams and Leaving School

Presented on Thursday, 7 October 2010

Preparing for College

Jeanette Gillies
Learner Services Manager: Access and Educational Support

What does college offer?

  • Range of subjects
  • Progression routes
  • Articulation with university
  • Employability skills
  • Different peer group

Access and Educational Support Services

  • Assessment of Support Needs
  • Educational Support
  • Communication/Classroom Support
  • Alternative Examination Arrangements
  • Equipment loan

Learner Pathway: Pre Entry

  • Initial interview to establish support needs
  • Information collated from various sources – school, audiologist, social work
  • Personal Learning and
  • Support plan approved by prospective student
  • Support needs communicated to department staff
  • Resources allocated

Learner Pathway: On-course support

  • Learners' needs drive the process
  • Review and adjust support within 6 weeks of entry
  • Regular meetings with educational support adviser and other staff as required
  • Review and Monitor support with learner and other staff regularly.

Learner Pathway Pre-Exit Support

  • Establish links with next stage – employer or other educational establishment
  • Preparation for transition information if required
  • Final Review and Evaluation


  • College provide and arrange support for education
  • DSA or additional support for learning fund
  • Support for lunchtimes, social situations is funded by Social Work
  • External providers need special permission
  • Arrange in advance

Routes to College

  • Visits – day /assessment
  • School Link
  • Day release from employment
  • Projects – Prince's Trust, 16+ guarantee
  • Course application

What to consider?

  • Entry qualifications
  • Career progression
  • Support available
  • Funding
  • Peer group
  • Travel

Differences from school

  • Independent learning/support strategies
  • Responsible for own learning and handing in of work, homework, attendance
  • Learning and teaching methods
  • Meet new people, new environment
  • Relationship with teaching staff
  • Funding for course fees and support, responsibilities
  • treated as an adult, courses usually between 2.5 and 4 days in college, directed study time, transport is not provided

Roles and responsibilities

  • Lecturer, communication support, course tutor, student services,
  • Thoroughly research your course and college and make an informed choice

College responsibilities

  • To provide the support required
  • Best match available
  • Reasonable adjustment
  • Communicate support to lecturers
  • Take account of needs of other learners
  • Academic standards must be met

Learner responsibilities

  • Contact in good time
  • Inform people how they can best communicate with you
  • Ask for support when needed
  • Provide feedback to support staff
  • Provide info about general deaf awareness

School-college collaboration

  • Workshops from college re roles, support, communication
  • Deaf-hearing awareness
  • Link with college staff
  • Shadow staff

Contact details: Jeanette Gillies, Learner Services Manager: Access and Educational Support, 1 Enterprise Way, Motherwell ML1 2TX
Telephone: 01698 232305