It’s Deaf Awareness week. 

I guess that this week is designed as an opportunity to make the hearing world more aware of challenges faced by d/Deaf people. This needs to be done by d/Deaf people.

I’m not d/Deaf, but I’m passionate about improving the lives of d/Deaf people, so I thought I’d do my bit to raise awareness of a fantastic group of people who are championing deaf education instead.

Last week I had the honour of being the inaugural speaker at the d/Deaf Teachers Of The Deaf (d/DTOD) group.  This fantastic group of educators are d/Deaf and working within the sphere of d/Deaf education.

The group is made up of teachers working in Deaf schools and Deaf units in mainstream schools, d/Deaf academics working in universities across the UK, d/Deaf specialists working in peripatetic support services, teachers in training and more.

They are an incredibly open, welcoming and knowledgeable group of people. They are passionate about raising the profile of d/Deaf education across the UK. 

I was invited to speak to the group about the revolutionary work that The Royal School for the Deaf Derby (RSDD) and YouTeachMe have been doing to improve Deaf teaching, to accelerate learning for d/Deaf youngsters, to  improve professional development opportunities for d/Deaf teachers and support staff and to overcome language barriers to engage parents of Deaf children in their child’s learning.

Thankfully I was joined by Cathie and Lucy (teachers at the Royal School for the Deaf Derby), who spoke so powerfully about the positive impacts they had seen on their learners, families, colleagues and themselves. 

When an experienced teacher tells 30+ other teachers that using YouTeachMe has ‘changed my whole perspective on teaching’, then you know it’s making a difference. There was real excitement about how innovation can make a difference and it was a pleasure to be part of it.

So this Deaf Awareness week, if you’re a d/Deaf educator, or you know someone who is, make them aware of the amazing d/DTOD group. They’d LOVE you to join them.


T: @dDeafToD

I: deaftod

Author: Paul Rose

Improving things for deaf children anywhere in the education system

In 2019 The Guardian reported that deaf children in England struggled at every stage of their education.

Why does this happen? What is to be done?

Well amazing things are being done if you talk to inspirational people in that sector, like we do. Then you would see there are great teachers working hard to help deaf learners succeed in life.  We are proud to be part of that effort.

The Royal School for the Deaf Derby (RSDD) have passionate, experienced, outstanding teachers like Cathie Birch who is one of the UK’s leading deaf maths teachers. Then there’s Lucy, she’s so passionate about delivering the highest quality art lessons to her students. Next comes the head, Helen, the thing she finds really good is for the filming of your lesson to happen, so it can go home and the learners can ‘get it’. Finally, there’s Sandra, a teacher at RSDD who embraces that she can deliver personalised teaching to her learners.  All of them pushing the boundaries to help their pupils.

Yes, RSDD are using YouTeachMe.

The RSDD team have, over the last 2 to 3 years, spent a lot of time producing content for their learners and they’ve kindly made it accessible to any school who subscribes to YouTeachMe. Why? To help improve things for any deaf child anywhere in the education system.

RSDD embraced one of the key functionality elements of YouTeachMe. Creating and uploading your own teaching content, which can then be safely shared with your chosen learners. They can access it on any device, in school or at home. This is where personalized teaching happens. And it’s a thing of magic for learners.

Quality teaching and learning can carry on even during ‘bubble’ self-isolation. But RSDD have done more than that. They’ve created wellbeing videos, they’ve given students videos to help them cope and understand what’s happening in the world, they’ve done fun tasks (especially Lucy!), they’ve produced signed stories for children to watch. And yes, they’ve completed their assemblies through video format too, much like other schools but not with tools that don’t give you the safeguarding and security that’s essential in education settings.

Our team have learnt much by spending time with the RSDD team. Through the number of videos they have compiled, and more importantly, the outstanding quality. That any subscriber can access them will make a difference to deaf learners across the country.

We’re exceptionally privileged to be working with such an exceptional school who aim to give the very best education to the deaf children learning with them.

Get to know more about YouTeachMe directly from RSDD

We’re running a joint event with the team from the Royal School for the Deaf Derby please join us if you are working with deaf children within a unit at your school or within a dedicated deaf school. Book online

IMAGE: courtesy of RSDD website 

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