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Strategies for Inclusion

Deaf children need the best possible listening conditions. They also need to be able to use lip-reading and may also have a delayed understanding of language and restricted vocabulary.

Listening Conditions

  • ensure that any amplification provided for children is working and worn consistently

Reduce background noise by:

  • closing doors/windows
  • covering hard surfaces with cloth or paper
  • using curtains to cover large windows
  • carpeting areas within classrooms
  • adding rubber stubs to table legs
  • switching off or replacing noisy equipment e.g. fans, heaters
  • encouraging children to keep noise to a minimum

Watching Conditions

Deaf children need to be able to see the person speaking so they can lipread.

Teachers should:

  • switch the lights on and stand in a good light, eg not directly in front of windows
  • face the hearing impaired child straight on
  • stop talking when writing on the board, or when the child has been asked to write something down
  • stand still - a moving teacher is difficult to lipread
  • make sure nothing is obscuring their face
  • make sure video clips are sub-titled


Children without a Radio Aid system need to be no more than one and a half metres from the person speaking.

Class teachers can help by:

  • seating the child nearby
  • seating the child so that they have a good view of other members of the class or group, so they can benefit from all the contributions being made
  • seating the child next to a helpful companion

Cartoon of a child struggling to hear teacher in a classroom because of roadworks noise from outside

Cartoon classroom handouts

Facilitating Understanding

  • ensure child's attention is gained before beginning to give information
  • make clear what the subject of discussion is, and avoid sudden digressions
  • use visual aids and write key vocabulary on the board
  • check understanding by asking open questions
  • do not accept nodding/smiling as evidence of understanding
  • repeat questions and contributions from other children, otherwise responses are meaningless
  • deaf children find note-taking very difficult, because of having to watch and write at the same time – give handouts where possible
  • be aware that deaf children often have restricted language skills - do not use overly long or complex sentences
  • introduce technical vocabulary clearly and systematically, a small amount at a time
  • give new information in manageable sized sections
  • introduce new concepts one at a time
  • give children opportunities to discuss their work and consolidate understanding, possibly in a quiet ‘withdrawal’ situation

Further resources to help