Support service renamed

Posted on: Wednesday 4 October 2023
d/Deaf service

Members of the deaf community have influenced a decision to rename a local support education service.

Nationally, the British Association of Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People and professionals who work with deaf children and young people are supporting the move towards the use of more positive terminology around deafness.

The word ‘deaf’ is used to refer to all levels of deafness, including unilateral deafness. This decision was made following collaboration with d/Deaf and hearing parents, deaf children and young people and professionals in the Children’s Hearing Services Working group.

The Hearing Impairment Service will now be called the Support Service for d/Deaf Children and Young People.

The names of clinics in the Southeast Wales region will no longer be using the term ‘hearing impaired’ and specialist resource bases in Nant Celyn Primary and Cwmbran High School will now be referred to as d/Deaf Resource Bases.

Joanne Plant, Head of Support Service for d/Deaf Children & Young People, worked with a range of key stakeholders on changing the service name, said: “Whilst some d/Deaf children may not use sign to communicate, it is important that the rights of the child are considered. There needs to be an opportunity to have or develop a deaf identity, whether as part of a linguistic and cultural minority or using spoken language.

“The wellbeing of d/Deaf children is fundamental to the role of Service. For some deaf children using language such as ‘impairment’ may have a detrimental impact on their identity, their confidence and sense of belonging.”

Many feel that the term ‘hearing impaired’ dismisses the importance and value of the Deaf community who mostly use British Sign Language.

The Support Service for d/Deaf Children and Young People, currently has approximately 1116 children and young people on caseload, and is part of the Sensory and Communications Support Service (SenCom).

The specialist teams within SenCom provide a wide range of advice and intervention strategies to support children with communication and sensory additional learning needs. It’s hosted by Torfaen Council and is delivered regionally in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen with children and young people, families, school’s colleges and early year’s settings.

Roger Thurlbeck, Head of Sensory and Communication Support Service, said:

“This piece of work to better reflect our communities wishes, truly captures the essence of SenCom, which is a desire to work in partnership with children, families, schools and our third sector colleagues.”

Last Modified: 04/10/2023 Back to top