Unilateral Hearing loss

Support for Children and Young People Diagnosed with a Unilateral Hearing Loss

Information for Parents/Carers

If your child has been recently diagnosed with a permanent or a longstanding unilateral hearing loss (affecting one ear only), the audiologists in the clinic have most likely already referred you to the Sensory Support – Hearing Support Team. Do not worry if you are not sure – you can still access the support we offer below.

What support is offered for children and young people with permanent (or long standing) unilateral hearing loss

Children and young people diagnosed with unilateral hearing loss will receive the following package of support:

  • Advice from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf over the phone at the point of referral (for more details see Section 1 below)
  • Invitation to Communicate and Play sessions for preschool children (0-4yrs) (see Section 2 below)
  • Free on-line training for parents/carers and professionals (see Section 3 below)
  • Generic Management Plan with essential strategies for Early Years settings or school staff (see Section 4 below)
  • Signposting to other organisations, such as National Deaf Children’s Society ndcs.org.uk and BID Services www.bid.org.uk (see Section 5 below)
  • Information about unilateral hearing loss from National Deaf Children’s Society (Section 6 below)

Please note that this package of support does not include the allocation of a visiting Teacher of the Deaf.

Section 1.  

Advice from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf

Classmates Drawing Together

If your child was recently diagnosed with a unilateral hearing loss, the clinical audiologist has most likely already asked for your consent to be referred for support from the Sensory Support – Hearing Support Team.

Once the Hearing Support Team receive a referral from an audiology clinic, a qualified Teacher of the Deaf or an Educational Audiologist will telephone the named parent/carer to offer advice and answer any questions related to the child’s hearing loss, its likely impact or the hearing technology prescribed (if applicable). The advice is typically provided within the first few days from the day of referral.

If you were unavailable to answer the phone call, you would have a voice message, or a text message left on your mobile phone with details of the Teacher of the Deaf who was trying to contact you. If you believe you have not been contacted and need advice, you can email us your details and we will contact you. (See contact us at the end of this page). You can also contact National Deaf Children’s Society for more advice – details in Section 4 below.

Section 2.

Communicate and Play – join our play and stay group sessions for preschool children with a hearing loss!

Is your child aged between 0 – 4 years old? Would you like to meet other parents/carers of children with a hearing loss? Would you like your child to have fun with other children who also diagnosed with a hearing loss? Come and join our fun play-and-stay sessions run by specialists from the Hearing Support Team.

Who can attend Communicate and Play?

The sessions are open to families of children with any degree of hearing loss. You may meet families with children diagnosed with mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing losses who may wear hearing aids, bone conduction devices or cochlear implants.

What activities are on offer?

Communicate and Play provides a unique opportunity for parents/carers to meet and talk about their children’s hearing journey with other parents/carers and professionals. The sessions are based around a theme and involve:

  • free flow play for children, including access to an outdoor space if the weather permits,
  • focus on development of early listening and communication with lots of singing (Hello song, singing nursery rhymes with the associated actions),
  • snack time
  • learning some everyday signs from the British Sign Language.

Will I have to pay to attend?

The sessions are usually free of charge although we may ask for a little contribution around Christmas and Easter time to help towards the cost of snacks and little gifts for the children.

Where does Communicate and Play take place?

Communicate and Play sessions are delivered during school term time at two locations:

  1. Castle Vale Children’s Centre (every other Wednesday at 9:45am – 11:45am)
    Address: Castle Vale Children’s Centre, 372 Yatesbury Avenue, Castle Vale, B35 6DH
  1. Bacchus Road Children’s Centre (every Thursday at 12.45am – 2.30pm)
    Address: Bacchus Road Children’s Centre, 61 Bacchus Road, Winson Green, B18 4QY

I would like to attend – what do I need to do?

Please note that the centres may be closed on a few occasions across the year, which is why we ask you to contact us before attending.

To confirm your place, please let us know which centre you would like to attend and send us your child’s name and date of birth using our secure admin email address:  A2EGeneral@birmingham.gov.uk 

Click here to download a leaflet about Communicate and Play sessions.

We hope to see you soon!

Section 3.

Under construction – Free online training module for parents/carers and professionals

We are currently working in close partnership with parents/carers as well as children and young people diagnosed with a unilateral hearing loss. The aim is to involve them in the planning and preparation of this training module so that we could present the most useful and accessible information about unilateral hearing loss and its impact. This effective collaborative practice is known as co-production.

Would you like to contribute to the development of this information?

Tell us your story or answer any of the questions below to help us prepare the most effective training about unilateral hearing loss for parents/carers and professionals:

  • What information about unilateral hearing loss would you like to find out?
  • What format should the information be presented in?
  • How did you feel after the diagnosis? What concerns did you have?
  • What piece of information or advice that you received was the most useful for you?
  • What was (or is) the biggest impact or difficulty your child experienced as a result of their unilateral hearing loss?
  • How did your child overcome this difficulty?
  • What are your best tips for other parents/carers and for professionals?
  • Would you like to be involved in the review of the draft version of this training module?

If you are a parent/carer of a child or young person with a unilateral hearing loss and would like to be involved in this project, please contact us via email: A2EGeneral@bimringham.gov.uk

We look forward to hearing from you!

Section 4. Early Years Classroom

See an example of a Management Plan for children and young people with a unilateral hearing loss.

A Management Plan contains a list of essential deaf-friendly strategies, which should be applied by adults working with your child in their nursery or school. These strategies will help maximise your child’s listening potential and access to learning at school. This is to help your child overcome any challenges he or she may experience as a result of their unilateral hearing loss. If your child attends an Early Years setting (nursery) or a school, the staff working with your child should have a copy of this document.

Click here for a Management Plan for children with a unilateral hearing loss attending an Early Years setting (nursery)

Click here for a Management Plan for children with a unilateral hearing loss attending a primary or a secondary school

Section 5.

Signposting to other organisations

If you would like to access more support and information about hearing loss in children, we recommend visiting the National Deaf Children’s Society – UK’s largest charity for deaf children. In addition to a wide range of information, National Deaf Children’s Society also provide a free telephone helpline. For details please visit: www.ndcs.org.uk

You may also wish to explore BID Services, a local charity who offer support for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have a dual sensory loss. For details please visit: www.bid.org.uk 

Section 6

Unilateral Hearing Loss – information for parents/carers and professionals

We are currently working on developing accessible information for parents/carers and professionals about a unilateral hearing loss (see Section 3 above for more details).

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about a unilateral hearing loss, please visit the National Deaf Children’s Society website:


Contact us:

If you have any questions or would like to offer us your feedback on how we could improve the information provided, please contact us via email: A2EGeneral@birmingham.gov.uk