Research: Guiding principles and codes of practice

Do Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People need them?

About this project

Rachel O'Neill from the University of Edinburgh and Rob Wilks from University of West of England are starting a piece of research which runs from January to April 2024.

We are looking for 30 QToDs who are prepared to be interviewed about ethical dilemmas they face in their work with deaf children and families. The transcripts from these interviews will be fully anonymised then checked by the interviewee before being analysed. This group of interviewees is only for qualified ToDs, not those in training. We are happy to interview some retired QTODs as their experience will give valuable insights into how the role of the QToD has changed, especially in relation to work with families in their own homes.

In addition, we are launching a questionnaire for parents which asks about their experiences in interacting with ToDs. We are seeking a balanced sample of parents of deaf children, so we are asking BATOD members if they could reach out to a wide range of families, including those who don't speak English. We have translated the questionnaire into commonly used community languages and it is also available in BSL. Please email Rachel to request other languages. We can also provide voice files for families who are not literate.

We are also reviewing BATOD magazines to find out more about how ethical dilemmas are discussed by the ToD profession.

Survey and Updates

Here are links to the blog which gives further information about the study, the information sheet for QToDs, and the information sheet for parents. We will report the results of the study in the BATOD magazine later in the year and all participants will receive a summary.

Parent Survey Translations

We have audio versions for some community languages. In these cases, parents can ask a friend to write responses in English or the community language. The audio files should link up with the Word file so when you click the relevant link, that part of the translated questionnaire will be read by a fluent speaker of the language. Please contact Rachel by email if you want other audio versions. Thanks for your help in sharing the survey with a wide range of parents.

Research Team

Rachel O'Neill, Senior Lecturer in Deaf Education trains Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People and conducts research at the University of Edinburgh.

Rob Wilks, Senior Lecturer in Law, with special interest in deaf people's experiences of the legal system, at University of West of England, Bristol

Dr Eilidh McEwan, Researcher, University of Edinburgh.


If you have any questions about the study, please email:

Images by Geralt on Pixabay, picjumbo_com on Pixabay and Markus Winkler on Unsplash