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Hearing Impairment Team

Staffordshire County Council services

The Hearing Impairment Team is part of the Specialist Support Service and we support children and young people aged 0-25 with a diagnosed hearing impairment at home, in early years settings, mainstream and special schools. This support can continue into Further Education. (Please refer to Post 16 section below for FE – Further Education Offer criteria).

Qualified and experienced Specialist Teachers of the Hearing Impaired Team work alongside other specialist professionals including Deaf Role Models, Communication Support Workers and Intervenors. We work in partnership with parents/carers, teachers and other professionals to provide support to each individual.

The video below gives an overview of living with hearing loss.

Who we are

Teacher of the Hearing Impaired

These are qualified teachers who have undertaken specialist training to obtain the mandatory qualification for teachers of children and young people with a hearing impairment MEd/Postgraduate Diploma.  They are responsible for the management of a list of children and young people with hearing impairments across the age range 0-25 in both mainstream schools, special schools and colleges.

Educational Audiologists

These are qualified teachers of the hearing impaired who have undertaken specialist training to obtain the mandatory qualification in educational audiology. They work with children with hearing loss to make sure they receive maximum support in the classroom. This may include making recommendations for acoustic modifications in the classroom, fitting hearing aid technology and counselling teachers/parents about their child’s hearing loss. Educational Audiologists also work in partnership with hospitals’ Audiology departments and hearing assistive technology manufacturers.

Communication Support Worker (CSW)

These are specialist Teaching Assistants who have undertaken specialist training in hearing impairment. They work for the hearing impairment service but are based in school with the children and young people.


These are specialist Communication Support Workers (CSWs) who work in homes and in special schools.  They work with children and young people with hearing and multi-sensory impairments.

Resource and IT Technician

The Resource and IT Technician supports all the staff and learners who use the service. He maintains and services hearing assistive technology. The role also includes activities supporting staff development and training both on an ad-hoc basis and in formal sessions.

HI Role Model

The HI Role Model supports the development of a positive identity, confidence and self esteem for deaf children and young people in managing the challenges of being a deaf young person in a hearing world. The role also includes supporting deaf children, young people and their families in the development of their communication and signing skills.

What we do

Our aim is to provide appropriate support for inclusion. Input is designed to ensure that the specific needs of each individual are met. Careful assessment is made and the level and type of support are reviewed regularly.

  • visit homes, pre-school groups, nurseries, schools and colleges.
  • provide advice, information and support to parents/carers and professionals.
  • offer training to the setting.
  • advise how deaf children and young people can effectively access the curriculum.
  • provide  specialist equipment when appropriate e.g. radio aids.
  • foster links with local and national organisations.   
  • specialist advice to Local Authority as part of any assessment process such as Education Health and Care Plans.
  • provide opportunities for sensory impaired C&YP to access activities and to meet together. 

How can I access the service?

All referrals to the Service are made through health authorities following diagnosis.

Some children and young people will be referred with a temporary hearing loss, while others may have a permanent hearing loss.

Our aim is to provide support to help families and settings adjust to differing needs and enable them to feel confident in managing their child/children's hearing loss.

Our input varies and is designed to ensure that we meet the individual needs of children and young people. Careful assessment is made; the level and type of support offered are reviewed regularly.

What happens when I become an adult? / Post 16 Support

Specialist Support Service (SSS) Further Education (FE) Offer

(SSS comprises the following teams: Hearing Impairment, Vision Impairment, Autism Outreach and ASSIST)

This offer is for learners moving into FE colleges / apprenticeships at 16+.

Requests should be made directly into the Specialist Support Service office or via ASSIST (Autism and Sensory Support in Staffordshire).

Provision varies according to whether a young person has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) or is receiving support as part of the Graduated Response.

Learners who have an EHCP which is maintained by Staffordshire County Council.

Learners who have an EHCP that identifies specific Hearing Impairment / Vision Impairment / Autism provision, will be eligible to access specialist teacher advice for transition and for statutory reviews.  This support is centrally commissioned by Staffordshire County Council [SCC].

Specialist Teacher statutory support may include:

  • Assessment of need as part of an Education, Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment [EHCNA] where agreed by SCC.
  • Report writing to inform EHCNA.
  • Review, attendance and advice at EHCP Annual Review meetings.  This will include the annual review prior to transition into post-16 provision. 
  • Where there is a significant change to the planned post-16 course programme, timetable or setting, further specialist teacher advice will be offered by the Service to the SEND Assessment and Planning Team in relation to appropriate support / provision and this may include one visit to the student or education provider post transfer.

Where the FE provider does not currently employ specialist staff to provide the support identified within a student’s EHCP, the Specialist Support Service and/or ASSIST may be able to provide this upon request. This support will be charged to the education provider, so the provider will need to apply for the appropriate FE funding to cover this.

Support may include:

  • Awareness training.
  • Specialist teaching support e.g. tutorials, language support, ICT access and specialist mentoring.
  • Specialist Mobility and Orientation Officers.
  • Communication Support Workers.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Lip-speakers.
  • Note-takers.
  • Translation and transcription, including braille, moon, audio description.

Other than for statutory transition support and reviews, assessors and course providers need to check availability before naming members of the SSS teams in documentation. 

Learners who have identified needs at the Graduated Response Level

Where learners require assessment or support as part of the graduated response, this may be purchased from the Specialist Support Service or ASSIST if there is capacity. 

Support may include:

  • Awareness training.
  • Guidance on Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
  • Specialist teaching support e.g. tutorials, language support, ICT access and specialist mentoring.
  • Specialist Mobility and Orientation Officers.
  • Communication Support Workers.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Lip-speakers.
  • Note-takers.
  • Translation and transcription, including braille, moon, audio description.

Assessors and course providers need to check availability before naming any of the SSS teams for support. 

Specialist Access Technology

Specialist access technology; e.g. radio aids, braillers, embossers can be provided, and the Specialist Support Service has a loan agreement for the education provider. There is a cost to this Service and the agreement will include advice, set up and routine maintenance. 

Useful Links

BATOD - British Association of Teachers of the Deaf

The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD) was formed in 1976 by the amalgamation of The National College of Teachers of the Deaf (NCTD) and the Society of Teachers of the Deaf (STD). BATOD is the sole Association representing the interests of teachers of deaf children and young people in the United Kingdom. It includes in its membership representatives from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and from all the many branches of the profession as well as colleagues from overseas: British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD)

BDA - British Deaf Association

The BDA is the UK’s leading membership organisation and registered charity run by Deaf people for Deaf people. The BDA delivers a range of services to achieve its aims of empowering Deaf people to overcome difficulties that they face on a daily basis: British Deaf Association

NDCS - National Deaf Children's Society

The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity for deaf children. They are here for every deaf child who needs them – no matter what their level or type of deafness or how they communicate: National Deaf Children's Society

RNID - Royal National Institute for Deaf People

Together, they are here to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.  They campaign for an inclusive society, connect people to practical advice, and pioneer new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus: RNID - National hearing loss charity

SNSDCS - Stoke & North Staffordshire Deaf Children's Society

Stoke and North Staffordshire Deaf Childrens Society was originally formed in 1975 and has a long history of helping local deaf children and their families. The group is run by parents and carers of deaf children supported by local professionals and is affiliated with the National Deaf Children's Society.   It supports families with children or young people who are affected by hearing impairments, ranging from mild to profound deafness - whether temporary or permanent. It fundraises in order to organise activities, events, and days out for families which are both fun and educational.  This allows deaf children to meet their peers, make new friends and for families to connect with each other. Stoke and North Staffordshire Deaf Children's Society (

SSDCS - South Staffordshire Deaf Children's Society

The South Staffordshire Deaf Children’s Society is a registered charity formed more than 40 years ago and consists of parents and friends of the society.  It's a great way to meet other families with deaf children. Covering all age groups and levels of hearing loss, we provide support to parents and carers. Your child can also make lots of new friends. We run a variety of fundraising events and with the monies run fun and educational activities: South Staffs Deaf Children’s Society

Further Information

Please see below a list of our Information Leaflets which are available on request.


Conductive Hearing Loss Leaflet

High Frequency Hearing Loss Leaflet

Mild Hearing Loss Leaflet

Moderate Hearing Loss Leaflet

Severe and Profound Hearing Loss Leaflet

Unilateral Hearing Loss Leaflet


BAHA - Bone Anchored Hearing Aid Leaflet

Battery Information Flyer

CI - Cochlear Implant Leaflet

Retubing Instruction Sheet

Softband BAHA Leaflet


Fire and Rescue Alarm at Home Leaflet 

General Hearing Impairment Advice Leaflet

Residential Information Leaflet

Specialist Support Service Hearing Impairment Team Leaflet

Swimming Information Leaflet

Using Technology at Home Leaflet

If you, or someone you know, would like a copy of these leaflets either in large print, braille, an audio tape or in languages other than English, please contact the Hearing Impairment Team by phone on 01785 356830 or by email:

Who to contact

Contact Name
Samantha Turnbull
Contact Position
Head Of Sensory and Autism Outreach Teams
01785 356830

Where to go

2 Staffordshire Place
Tipping Street
ST16 2DH Get Directions (This link opens in a new tab)

Other Details


Referral required
Other notes

Michelle Lane

Deputy Head of Sensory Team (Lead HI)

01785 356830

Last updated: 20 Jan 2022
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