Doncaster School and College appeal for visors to help communication with Deaf students
Teachers and support staff at Doncaster School for the Deaf and Communication Specialist College Doncaster are appealing to businesses making visors to provide equipment to make teaching deaf children and young people possible.
Staff at the Doncaster Deaf Trust run organisations are looking to ensure that any Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) they have in place for the potential expanded opening of the school and college is suitable for working with Deaf children and young people, some who rely on lipreading to communicate.
The current facemasks worn by people in the health and retail sectors cover the mouth area making communication difficult, especially for the Deaf community.
Alexis Johnson, executive principal at Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are currently planning for a potential phased return to school for some of our staff, pupils and students. Part of that planning is to ensure that people have the relevant safety equipment in place. For our students and pupils, seeing people’s facial expressions and lips can be vital to enable them to communicate.
“We want to make sure that all staff, pupils and students feel safe with the potential phased return to school and college and we think that using the clear visors is just one more way in which we can support those coming to and from our buildings.
“As well as our appeal for visors we are also supporting the national appeal for transparent face masks as these would make a huge difference to deaf people’s lives.”
There are currently around nine million people in England who are deaf or live with a hearing loss and almost all of them rely on seeing someone’s face clearly, as it helps with lip-reading and reading facial expressions.
The National Deaf Children’s Society has provided five tips for the public when they speak to a deaf person whilst wearing a face mask, urging everyone to take them on board:
- Write it down - If speech isn’t working, write it down or use a text message.
- Use an app - There are mobile apps that can translate speech into text – why not give one a try?
- Keep it clear - If you can, use a face mask with a clear panel or a clear face visor so your face is visible.
- Find a quiet place - This will make it easier to hear, especially if technology is used to support hearing.
- Use video calls - If you don’t need to meet face-to-face, a video call with captions or British Sign Language interpretation may work just as well and you won’t need a mask.
For further information please visit www.deaf-trust.co.uk