North East Lincolnshire Council

SEN | Hearing and vision

Who are we?

We are the Educational Team for Hearing and Vision (ETHV). We offer a wide range of services to support children and young people who have been diagnosed with hearing and/or vision loss from birth to leaving school. To find out if we can support you, read about us below.

Our team consists of two Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QToD), one Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) supported by eight Specialist Teaching Assistants, one Habilitation Specialist and two Specialist Curriculum Support  Staff. One Teacher of the Deaf is a qualified Educational Audiologist and Early Years Practitioner for supporting babies with a hearing impairment and their families. All staff have current enhanced DBS status and adhere to Council policies and procedures for Safeguarding.

We support families and settings with children and young people who have been medically diagnosed with either a hearing or vision loss. We offer to support if a child or young person has been given at least one hearing aid, cochlear implant or bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) or has a visual impairment which cannot be corrected with prescription glasses. We support children and young people across the range of educational placements including nurseries, mainstream and special schools including Academies. Support is offered term time during school hours.

As all children, young people, their families, schools and settings are different, the type and level of support offered will vary. The National Sensory Partnership Eligibility Framework (PDF) is used to help us decide how much support is offered to each individual child or young person. This support is described as being either high, medium, low, monitor or advice. The level of support is regularly monitored for any changes. Children and young people with a hearing or visual impairment can face many unique challenges in accessing the curriculum and their environment. Our role is to identify those challenges and support those involved with the child or young person to overcome them.

Babies who are diagnosed with a permanent childhood hearing impairment following Newborn Hearing Screening are referred to education within 24 hours of a diagnosis and contact made with the family within two days. Babies who are diagnosed with a permanent vision loss may be referred by an Ophthalmologist or Health Visitor. The team offer home-visiting to families, babies and pre-schoolers where a permanent visual or hearing impairment has been diagnosed.

The frequency of support given to families of children with a diagnosed hearing loss is guided by the NatSIP Eligibility Framework for scoring support levels for deaf children from birth to the end of F1 (Nursery).

Read our summary guides:

Our Vision is that every learner has the opportunity to develop their independence, self-esteem, achieve their full potential, and are ready for adult life.

What are our aims?

  • We want children and young people to be successful, independent learners who are confident and self-reliant.
  • We want children and young people to achieve the best educational outcomes linked to national expectations for their level of development
  • The team is committed to working in close partnership with parents, carers, other professionals and voluntary organisations, showing respect for individual values and without judgement.
  • As part of Early Support, we aim to provide families with high quality, unbiased information enabling them to make informed choices for their children.
  • We aim to provide high quality support and enhance the educational opportunities for children and young people who have needs relating to hearing or visual impairment.
  • We aim to support the development of emotional well-being in children and young people with sensory impairment to ensure they achieve their full potential socially and emotionally.
  • We consistently work within the safeguarding framework provided by the local authority.
  • We want all children and young people to be able to manage their own needs and learn ‘skills for life’ to ensure their safety and independent access in all aspects of daily living.

The team works in close co-operation with a range of other agencies, including organisations such as the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), the Blind Children’s Society and the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP), to ensure that the needs of children and young people with a hearing or visual impaired and their families are met. A more comprehensive list of our partners is shown in a section below.

Services provided – all phases

  • Provision of unbiased information to families and other agencies
  • Attendance where possible at the Paediatric Hearing Aid Review Clinic for the initial hearing aid fitting and subsequent reviews
  • Liaison with Paediatric Ophthalmology teams
  • Functional assessments of hearing or vision
  • Advice on all levels of hearing and vision loss and reasonable adjustments that can be made. Please refer to our leaflets Reasonable Adjustments for Deaf children and young people (PDF) and Reasonable Adjustments for children and young people visual impairment (PDF)
  • Support to families and settings in how to manage hearing equipment or low vision aids
  • Specialist advice in the preparation of Education Health and Care Plans
  • Liaison with Audiology and Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) Departments, Ophthalmology and Optometry Departments
  • Check hearing aids using an electro acoustic hearing aid analyser three times a year
  • Liaison with Social Workers, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, Portage, Educational Psychologists etc.
  • Attend the local Childrens Services Working Group (CHSWG) to help develop good working practice with other agencies and partners in North East Lincolnshire and nationally with regards to Deaf children
  • Work with other Sensory teams nationally to ensure quality of provision and good practice is maintained
  • Use questionnaires with schools, children, young people and their families to find where additional support can be offered and to obtain feedback on services delivered
  • Offer advice to schools regarding appropriate adaptations to examinations in line with the Equality Act
  • Provide BSL tuition during term times to families of Deaf children and young people
  • Finding British Sign language (BSL) Interpreters (PDF)
  • Information for parents, settings and schools on the possible signs of hearing and or vision loss. Please refer to our leaflets What to do if you think your child has a hearing loss (PDF) and What to do if you think your child has a vision loss (PDF)
  • Advice to schools and settings on how to improve the listening environment for the benefit of all children, young people, staff and visitors. Please refer to our leaflets How acoustically friendly is your classroom (PDF) Improving room acoustics – High cost low cost no cost (PDF)
  • Advice to families, children and young people on things they can buy to help support independence. Please see our leaflets Assistive Technology for Hearing Loss (PDF) and  Hearing aids – looking after – where to buy things (PDF)

Services provided – Early years, before attending a school or setting

  • Support and advice to parents of new born babies from point of diagnosis
  • Support to families and settings to encourage use of hearing aids, early communication skills and language development
  • Support families to develop their child’s listening and vision skills
  • Support families to meet other families and attend groups for Early Years
  • Support families to record their baby’s achievements using Monitoring Protocol for Deaf Babies and Children or Early Years Journal for Visually Impaired Children
  • Offer regular home visits as appropriate

Services provided – settings and schools

  • Practical advice to preschool settings and classroom teachers on teaching approaches to ensure access to the curriculum
  • Regular monitoring and tracking of progress to inform planning and teaching programmes
  • Individual and small group teaching by specialist qualified staff from the ETHV to develop listening and communication skills, literacy, numeracy, mobility, independence and skills for life where assessed as appropriate
  • Support from Specialist Teaching Assistants to deliver programmes devised by Specialist Teachers from ETHV including: early communication, hearing aid care, developing early sensory skills, social and emotional well-being, independence, Information Technology (IT) and visual access skills where assessed as appropriate
  • End of Key Stage outcomes data for children and young people with a hearing or vision loss is reported annually to NatSIP which is compared to outcomes nationally
  • Professional development and training for settings and school staff in hearing and vision loss and reasonable adjustments in the classroom or setting
  • Advice on acoustic conditions and the physical learning environment and how these can be improved
  • Help schools to make all the necessary reasonable adjustments by offering Access Audits for Deaf and Visually impaired people. Please refer to our leaflets Environmental Audit of Accessibility to Settings in Respect of Visual Impairment 2016 (PDF) and Access Audit for Deaf people in schools and settings (PDF)
  • Promoting deaf and vision awareness amongst peer groups

For our team to be able to provide the above, we need schools and settings to work with us and to have read our leaflet Service Delivery Expectations with Schools and Settings (PDF).

Services provided – transition

  • Work together with children and young people, their families and other professionals at times of transition. Please see our leaflet Moving to Adult hearing aid services (PDF)
  • Provide information on moving to adult services

Services provided – specialist equipment

  • Provision of additional specialist equipment for those children and young people who are assessed to need it e.g. Radio Aid systems, low vision aids and specialist IT equipment
  • Ensure that all specialist equipment is well maintained and appropriately used by the child or young person and school staff
  • Professional development and training for settings and school staff in use and management of specialist equipment

We will no longer be involved if the:

  • child or young person moves out of North East Lincolnshire, attends a school outside of North East Lincolnshire or attends further or higher education
  • NatSIP Framework assessment indicates that support is no longer necessary
  • child or young person with a hearing impairment is discharged from the Hearing Aid Review Clinic as they no longer need to wear hearing aids

Read our leaflet Habilitation Education Leaflet for Parents and Schools (PDF)

  • We have a qualified Habilitation Specialist as part of the team who works alongside the QTVI to ensure the needs of all children and young people with a visual impairment are met.
  • Habilitation training covers early movement skills, sensory, spatial and body concepts, cane training, route learning and independent living skills.
  • The Habilitation Specialist and the QTVI will work with families using ongoing assessments to ensure each individual child or young person has appropriate support to meet their needs at times appropriate to their developmental needs.
  • Families with a child or young person who has a visual impairment can access a Habilitation assessment as outlined in Who do I contact? and Who do we support? Sections above.

Top tips:

Parents of babies diagnosed with a permanent childhood hearing impairment are given information on communication options for their child and family. Support is provided in the home to develop their preferred language. Options include:

  • hearing aids
  • cochlear implants,and
  • sign language

It is recognised that as children develop their communication needs may alter.

All families of newly diagnosed deaf babies have access to free British Sign Language (BSL) tuition. We offer a non-examination family sign group which runs during term time only. Families who choose to communicate using BSL with their child or young person are expected to make a commitment to learning and improving their signing skills while the young person is in education. Families can also pay to access BSL tuition at evening classes, on line or with a personal tutor. Please contact us for more information.

Children and young people who use hearing and speech as their main mode of communication have their educational needs met in a North East Lincolnshire preschool or school setting with appropriate level of support as suggested by the NatSIP Framework.

Children and young people who use BSL as their main mode of communication go on to have their educational and communication needs met by attending a resourced preschool or school setting with other BSL users.  Currently families choose Christopher Pickering Primary Academy in Hull,  Sirius Academy in Hull or Doncaster School for the Deaf.

Resources will be given to babies, children and young people who have been assessed to need them.

Theses may include:

  • Radio Aid systems
  • Direct Audio Input Connectors
  • Low Vision Aids (LVA), Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
  • Specialist mobility equipment eg short cane/long cane
  • Braille equipment and resources
  • Modified print materials and tactile resources
  • Information and DVDs about hearing and visual impairments
  • Information, books and DVDs to support the development of language including sign language

If you suspect you, your child or young person, has a hearing or visual impairment, you should contact your GP or other health professional in the first instance.  They are the lead professional in the diagnostic process and will be able to signpost you to other services and support available.  The Educational Team for Hearing and Vision does not diagnose hearing or vision impairments. Information on spotting the signs of a possible hearing and vision loss can be found in our leaflets What to do if you think your child has a hearing loss (PDF) What to do if you think your child has a vision loss (PDF).

Reasonable adjustments for children and young people suspected of having a hearing loss (PDF)

If your child or young person has a diagnosed hearing or visual impairment and you wish to learn more about the special educational provision, you should contact your school. Each school has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who will be able to advise you further.

For children with a hearing loss, we accept new referrals from parents, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) and Audiology departments, schools and settings where a child or young person has been diagnosed to have a hearing loss and has at least one hearing aid, BAHA or cochlear implant. Please contact us on the number above.

For children with a visual impairment, we accept new referrals from parents, Ophthalmology and Optometry departments, schools and settings where a child or young person has been diagnosed with a vision loss that cannot be corrected by prescription glasses. Please contact us on the number above.

Quality assurance

The ETHV adheres to Quality Standards for specialist teaching and support services set by NHS Professionals, NDCS, British Association for Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD), NatSIP and the Department for Education (DfE).

The ETHV submit Outcomes data to the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education and the NatSIP Benchmarking annual survey to inform future practice and provision.

We actively seek feedback from service users through the use of questionnaires, phone calls and meetings.

Compliments, complaints and suggestions

We are happy to receive compliments, complaints and suggestions by contacting us directly.

Alternatively, compliments, complaints and suggestions can also be made by visiting the North East Lincolnshire Council Website to pass on your comments. See our Complaints, compliments and suggestions page for details.

Children and young people with a hearing/ visual impairment  and their families have been consulted in the preparation of this Local Offer.

BAHA Bone Anchored Hearing Aid
BSL British Sign Language
CHSWG Childrens Services Working Group
CCTV Closed Circuit Television
DfE Department for Education
ENT Ears, Nose and Throat department at the hospital
ETHV Educational team for hearing and Vision
IT Information Technology
LVA Low Vision Aids
NatSIP National Sensory Impairment Partnership
NDCS National Deaf Children’s Society
QToD Qualified Teacher of the Deaf
QTVI  Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired
RNIB Royal National Institute for the Blind
SENCO Special Educational Needs Coordinator (in a school or setting)

We work with a range of partners in North East Lincolnshire currently including:

We work with a range of partners outside of North East Lincolnshire currently including:

We apologise if we have overlooked any of our partners.  If we have, please contact us and we will ensure you are included.

Educational Team for Hearing and Vision, Civic Offices, Knoll Street, Cleethorpes, DN35 8LN

Email: officeethv@nelincs.gov.uk

Telephone: (01472) 323465

Minicom for Deaf people: (01472) 873986

Minicom Relay for hearing people: 18002 (01472) 873986

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm, except bank holidays. Term time only.