University of Edinburgh

Achievements of Deaf Pupils in Scotland

Presented in February 2004

Pupil and ex-pupil perspectives

Why are pupil/ex-pupil views important?

  • Statistics are only part of the story
  • Each person is an expert in their own experience

Some relevant publications

  • 1990 NDCS Deaf Young People's views on integration
  • 1995 Gregory et al Deaf young people and their families
  • 1999 RNID A review of good practice in deaf education
  • 2000 Sheridan Images of Self and Others; stories from the children
  • 2001 Sheridan Inner Lives of Deaf Children
  • 2001 McGilp My school in Scotland: a review of deaf pupils' experiences in mainstream schools
  • 2002 RNID Inclusion: deaf young people think
  • 2002 Skelton and Valetine Living on the Edge
  • 2002 McGlip Young people's views on the future of deaf education

ADPS 'Work in Progress'

  • Consultation over questionnaire content
  • Individual interviews
  • Focus groups

Some themes so far

  • Access to audiology assessments
  • Access strategies in mainstream
  • Choices and decision-making
  • Deaf identity
  • Understanding lessons
  • Role of support staff
  • School/post-school camparisons

Audiology assessments

'I never got to see the results - they were put in a file and it was put away. I would like to have seen that file'
FE Student

"I would have liked to know if my hearing was getting worse or better or things like that. They tell the parents, that's who they tell.'
FE Student

'I have seen my audiogram. I understand it when the doctor explains it, kind of'
S2 Mainstream pupil

'Sometimes I would look at the graph with Mr Z [Educational audiologist] and felt comfortable with this'
S5 Deaf School pupil

Choices and decision-making

'They never gave you full information ... so we werent on the same footing as the hearing pupils ... I wanted to try to do different things but they wouldnt let me do them. So they don't have proof of what I could possibly do.'
FE Student

'I liked these three subjects, basically becuase I had chosen what I wanted to do.'
Year 13 Deaf school pupil (in England)

Some inclusion issues

'I was in a hearing school with very few deaf people.So when I was with a hearing class - maybe there was an exam or something - they would give me something easier to do becuase they wanted me to look like I was being the same as everyone else, but I wasn't.'
FE student

'It's hard when the teacher explains things to me. It's difficult to understand her. I put my hand up and ask her to repeat what she's said. I feel embrassed when I have to do that.'
S2 mainstream pupil

'In a group I thought it was quite difficult, becuase everyone was talking at the same time. But now I ask them to speak one at a time; I ask them to please look at my face when they speak. So now it's much easier - but it's still difficult.'
S5 mainstream pupil

'The teacher points to explain things for me and then I can understand it. Sometimes the teacher will help by just writing things down. I have a support teacher in some subjects. I get help - the teachers help me and I can understand.'
S1 mainstream pupil

'Although I like Home Economics, the women can turn her back sometimes and I can't understand. But I can still make good food.'
S2 mainstream pupil

'I knew I was different and wore a big hearing aid - and missed lots of information - but didn't fit this into a picture of deafness. I didn't know I was deaf, as such.'
Adult, aged 37

Some key interview issuses

  • Communication/recording communication during interview
  • 'Consultation fatigue'

What will happen to the information?

Reporting alongside statistical information
Input into teacher training (specialist and mainstream)
Input into other consultations (eg: Public Health Institute of Scotland Needs
Assessment Report 'NHS Audiology Services in Scotland', 2003)