Achievements Of Deaf Pupils In Scotland

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Profiling Deaf Pupils (ProDeaf) Project

ADPS staff worked with several different partners in Fife on a small pilot project we are calling "ProDeaf".

The motivation for this project came from a concern that pupils, parents and families do not always have access to all the relevant information concerning the individual deaf child/young person.

Many of the guidelines coming from the Scottish Executive and other key agencies have stressed the rights of both pupils and parents.

Despite such guidelines, we are aware that there is considerable variation in terms of what is made available to pupils and parents. Deaf pupils can be subject to a range of professional assessments, for example, by clinical audiologists; educational audiologists; ENT consultants; paediatric consultants; speech and language therapists; educational psychologists, social workers and teachers. Different ethical guidelines apply within different sectors, for example, in health, education and social services. There are also different approaches to making information relating to assessments available to pupils and parents. Some professionals send written versions to families as a matter of course and also see pupils and parents to explain outcomes. However, some professionals may do one or the other or may not provide parents and pupils with any direct information at all.

We are also aware that even when professionals do provide information, it can be difficult to access because of technical language or because the information is in summary form with insufficient background and contextual information.

ADPS had developed very good working relations with several groups in Fife. Elaine Hunter, Chair of Fife Deaf Children's Society and other members of the group, indicated that they were very interested in working with us on the project. Similarly, Anne Morris, the then Head of Fife Service for Children and Young People with Sensory Impairment was keen to see this idea being explored further. Since Anne's retirement, her successor in the post, Marion Reid, has also been very supportive. Together we were able to establish a Working Party to look at some of the issues. This includes a wide range of professionals, d/Deaf people and parents. All the members of the Working party are already working to develop good practice in this area, but wanted to see whether the ADPS initiative could support their efforts. Some of the young deaf people themselves have also given their views and their ideas.

The ProDeaf project presented us with a number of practical and technical difficulties. We need to find appropriate mechanisms for inputting information easily. This can be difficult when we may be dealing with a long assessment report say from a Speech and Language Therapist. We also need to make the end-product as user-friendly as possible.

In the end the pilot showed that, within the resources available, it was not possible to overcome these practical difficulties. The learning from this project will be useful for further exploration in this area.

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Maintained by ADPS Webmaster | Last updated on 05 March 2013

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