The hearing support team
The Hearing Support Team is a specialist teaching service that supports children and young people with a hearing loss, from birth to 25 years.
- The Hearing Support Team is one of the Birmingham City Council SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Support Services, supporting children and young people with hearing loss.
- The Hearing Support Team is a team which consists of Qualified Teachers of the Deaf, specialist Teaching Assistants, an Educational Audiologist and Audiology Technicians.
Children and young people from 0 to 25 years with a diagnosis of hearing loss who have been prescribed hearing aids.
The type of support and where it is delivered depends on your child’s diagnosis of hearing loss and its impact, and may include:
- Specialist playgroup for preschool children (0-4 years)
- Family homes
- Early years settings
- Schools – mainstream and special
- Yes – we work with other professionals including Speech and Language Therapists and Audiologists.
The type and frequency of support offered will depend on the level of hearing loss (mild, moderate, severe or profound) as diagnosed by clinical audiologists and its impact on your child, as well as:
- age at diagnosis
- presence of additional needs
- if your child is in a transition year (about to start or change school)
The type of support and its frequency will be reviewed and will change if needed.
Support for children diagnosed with a mild-moderate, moderate, severe or profound hearing loss is delivered by a visiting Teacher of the Deaf, and may include:
- Ongoing advice and support for parents/carers
- Specialist playgroup – a stay and play for pre-schoolers with hearing loss and their families
- Access to a radio aid (assistive listening device)
- Support around development of listening and language
- On-line or in person training for adults working with your child
- Support around transition (starting or changing nursery or school)
- Assessment of listening and language and target setting
- Written guidance with effective deaf friendly strategies for staff
- In-class observations and individual teaching sessions
- Understanding their own hearing loss (for older children)
- Opportunities for children with hearing loss to meet other deaf children
If you are unsure about the level of support your child should receive, check your child’s audiology report to find out what their type and degree of hearing loss is (bilateral or unilateral? And of what degree? mild, moderate, severe of profound). Next, see the information in the Hearing Support Leaflet for parents/carers (click here).
If you are still not sure, or if there has been a change in your child’s hearing, you can email us your child’s name, date of birth and diagnosis of hearing loss (or attach a hospital report) and we will be able to advise you.
This will depend on:
- Level and type of hearing loss
- How much the hearing loss is affecting your child
- If your child is about to start or change school
- If your child has other difficulties
- How often your child is supported will be reviewed regularly and will change if needed
- If your child has an allocated Teacher of the Deaf, they will keep in touch with you by phone, email, virtual calls and in person, depending on what is required
- You will also be able to contact them if you have questions, concerns or need some advice
- Clinical Audiologists – we receive most referrals from audiology clinics
- Health visitors or school nurses
- School or nursery staff
- Other professionals
We accept referrals for children and young people who:
- have a diagnosed hearing loss
- and have been prescribed hearing aid(s) or cochlear imaplants
If your child has a hearing loss but hearing aids have not been prescribed, it may be because your child has a temporary hearing loss (for example due to a glue ear), a very mild hearing loss, or a single-sided deafness (type of a unilateral hearing loss). If that is the case, you can still receive a package of support without the need for a referral. To access the support just click on the right section above
If you would like to refer your child to the Hearing Support Team, talk to the Special Educational Needs & Disability Coordinator (SENDCo) at your child’s school or setting.
Parents/carers or professionals who would like to refer a child to the Hearing Support Team, should complete and return the following two forms:
Referral form and Parent/carer consent form.
Once completed please return both forms to the Hearing Support Team:
Via our secure admin email address: HSTReferrals@birmingham.gov.uk , OR
By post using the address below:
Hearing Support Team
Access to Education
PO Box 17843
Birmingham, B2 2JR