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Supporting deaf education during the coronavirus pandemic

The pandemic has resulted in copious amounts of guidance from the government and Department for Education. Here, we share some of the excellent resources from BATOD and its work with others in supporting deaf education during the coronavirus pandemic.   

BATOD is the only professional association for Teachers of the Deaf in the UK, and it is always looking to ensure the government considers the needs of deaf children and young people.  

It also works very closely with NatSIP (National Sensory Impairment Partnership) and the NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society) on this. Recent publications include guidance on returning to school and college (see below).  

A key focus of BATOD during these times has been to work closely with the NDCS, among other partners, to highlight the need for clear face masks to be used publicly as well as being available for health settings while meeting the infection control requirements. Its recent document on face coverings is available below as is guidance about the appropriate cleaning of technical/audiological equipment in schools. 

What are the key concerns for Teachers of the Deaf?

Responses to a survey of BATOD members, including those who are NAHT members, conducted in May 2020 highlighted a few keys areas for focus: 

  • Accessibility in the ‘socially-distanced’ classroom, whether that’s traditional or virtual
  • Guidance for the safe use of assistive listening devices in learning environments
  • Targeted CPD for teachers, specialist teachers and support staff.    

How BATOD supports its members?

BATOD organises CPD courses and national and regional meetings to provide relevant, up-to-date information and to disseminate good practice.  

In addition to this support, its members also access an informative magazine five times per year and a refereed Journal (Deafness and Education International) four times per year. It maintains strong links with the government and voluntary bodies, especially the NDCS. It also plays a key role in NatSIP to contribute to policy development in this field. (https://www.batod.org.uk/)

First published 16 September 2020