Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH)

Using Technology

  • DHH pupils with hearing aids or cochlear implants should be wearing these consistently throughout the day.

  • Some DHH pupils may use assistive listening devices as well as their hearing aids so ensure you are familiar with these and they are used correctly.

  • Ensure that all equipment is checked daily and working appropriately.

  • Support DHH pupils to manage their equipment independently.

  • Speak with your local Qualified Teacher of the Deaf (QToD) if you have any issues or concerns regarding a piece of hearing equipment.

Support for Social and Emotional Needs

  • Be aware that DHH pupils may have difficulties with social interaction as they can mishear or misunderstand what someone has said.

  • Generally DHH pupils do not want to stand out as being different from their peers so may prefer to struggle in silence than ask for help.

  • Liaise with your local QToD and ensure that each DHH pupil understands their hearing needs and feels confident to discuss it with their peers.

  • Ensure that DHH pupils do not feel isolated in the playground by encouraging inclusive games and having a designated quiet area for them to meet with their friends.

Teaching and Learning

  • Look at the DHH pupil and get their full attention before speaking or signing to them.

  • Try to face the DHH pupil when speaking to the class and avoid turning around to write on the board as you speak.

  • Give DHH pupils some ‘thinking time’ before asking them to respond to questions.

  • Check in regularly with DHH pupils throughout the lesson to ensure they have heard and understood the learning.

  • Keep background noise levels to a minimum.

  • Support DHH pupils to become active listeners and ask for information to be clarified or repeated if needed.

Classroom Environment

  • DHH pupils should be seated at the front, not necessarily in the centre, with a clear view of the teacher and interactive whiteboard.

  • Having tables in a horseshoe layout allows for DHH pupils to see everyone’s face.

  • When you are speaking to the class try and stay in one place and avoid moving around.

  • Try not to make yourself ‘backlit’ (this will turn you into a silhouette) and DHH pupils often rely on lipreading and signing. It is better if you face a window or light source.

  • Stand at an appropriate distance from the DHH pupil. If you are too far away it will make it harder from them to hear, see lip patterns and signs and facial expressions.

  • Use a visual timetable that includes the word and a picture.

Learning Resources and Adaptation

  • Use visual resources to support the learning, especially when introducing new vocabulary or topics.

Further support and resources

National Deaf Children's Society: Find out more about their free resources for teachers and other education professionals on deaf-friendly teaching and support for primary aged deaf children.


Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD): Founded in 1841, RAD provides services to deaf people in their first language, usually British Sign Language (BSL) and supports mainstream providers to be more accessible to deaf people.


National Association of Deafened People: Founded in 1984, a main objective of NADP is to increase awareness of the specific needs and requirements of deafened people, to ensure they have full access to communication, information, employment and services.

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