University of Edinburgh

Moving Through

Appendix IV: How do deaf pupils access information and participate in class?

Pupils may use different strategies / combinations of strategies in different situations. Factors like these will make a difference:

  • Type and level of pupil's deafness;
  • Type of class (direct teaching, group discussion, etc);
  • Environmental noise levels;
  • Availability of specialist access services (staff and / or equipment).

What strategies will your child use? What services will they need?

English-based strategies your child may use

Knowing what's being said by teachers / other

Uses amplification

  • hearing aids
  • cochlear implants
  • radio aids (body worn / microlink / etc)
  • Soundfield systems in the classroom
  • loop systems in the classroom
Joining in class (eg; speaking up in discussions / answering questions etc)

Uses speech

  • direct
  • via a support worker* (that is, if speech not clear to others).


Uses lipreading

  • direct
  • support worker* lipspeaking
Uses Sign Supported English / Signed English

  • Direct (that is, teacher / other pupils) communicate in SSE / SE (mostly schools / unites for deaf children)
  • Support worker* relays the lesson in SSE
Uses Sign Supported English / Signed English

  • Direct (that is communicates with class teacher / other pupils directly in SSE / SE)
  • Support worker* 'voices over' the pupil.
Reads text

  • all written curriculum materials;
  • support worker* notetaking;
  • electronic notetaker (rare - more common in further / higher education);
  • subtitled videos.

Writes text






British Sign Language (BSL)-based strategies your child may use**

  • Direct (that is pupils / class teacher sign, using BSL - mostly schools / units for deaf pupils)
  • BSL / English interpreter*
  • Deaf support worker (who may act as both teacher and interpreter
  • Direct (that is, pupils signs directly to class teacher / other pupils, using BSL - mostly schools / units for deaf pupils)
  • BSL / English interpreter*


*The pupil's visiting Teacher of the Deaf will often fulfil these roles, (particularly primary school) as well as other services such as: assessing / monitoring access; giving tutorial support and advising mainstream staff.

**In a sign-bilingual setting, both BSL and English are used, with BSL usually being used to access the curriculum in the classroom