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Schools failing to support deaf children with reading

21 February 2014

New research has revealed that over 50% of deaf children who communicate orally (rather than by using sign language) have reading difficulties at least as severe as those faced by hearing children with dyslexia. Despite this, the study found that no specific reading interventions were routinely offered to support the reading of deaf children.

The Equality Act 2010 requires schools not to discriminate against disabled pupils in the provision of education and to make reasonable adjustments to avoid substantial disadvantages to disabled pupils. Deaf children are likely to be considered disabled if their hearing impairment has a substantial and long-term negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.

In view of the study, schools with children with hearing impairments may wish to scrutinise performance data relating to the literacy levels of this cohort and put in place intervention strategies now to overcome any attainment gap. In some cases, it may be appropriate to direct Pupil Premium funds towards such strategies.

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