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Users who have difficulty hearing things

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Deaf learners have individual challenges that are influenced, amongst other things, by their degree of deafness, the age at which they went deaf, their experience of language and whether this is spoken or signed, the communication within their families as they grew up, the success or otherwise of their schooling, other SEN and any physical aids to hearing that they may be using. We cannot assume that all deaf learners have common needs but we can adopt styles of teaching and create or adapt resources that will be generally more enabling for an identifiable group of people for whom there may well be significant communication and literacy issues.

Deaf learners may require:

  • A simplified text
  • More or differentiated explanation
  • Visual clues
  • Signed support
  • Arrangements to make the teacher and other members of the group more visible

Among the most important outcomes of the following advice and guidance is the recognition that:

  • There is no single solution for accessibility
  • The optimum "reasonable adjustment" may depend on the nature of the learner, the nature of the impairment, the nature of the resource, the learning objectives and the context of use
  • The most time-consuming and expensive adjustments are not always the most effective
  • Staff supporting learners often have a range of alternative adjustments they can make in discussion with the learner.

This information has been divided into several sections (as listed below), in each case moving from general points to more specific examples.