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Deafblind UK Developing New Pathway to Academic and Social Success

Specialist sight and hearing loss charity, Deafblind UK, is working with Anglian Ruskin University to ascertain the impact of deafblindness on academic and social success for young people.


“We know that lots of young people are affected by deafblindness, but we also know that with the right support, they can achieve,” said Deafblind UK’s CEO Nikki Morris.


“This research will determine the prevalence and impact that sight and hearing loss has on young lives.”


The research will be led by PhD student, Claire Manford, who believes that there could be as many as 1 in 140 children in mainstream schools who are deafblind.


The Care Act (2014) includes legal obligations for supporting deafblind adults but does not cover children and young people under the age of 25.


“After 20 years as a teacher and MSI teacher, the chance to do something in the field, to have a positive impact for deafblind children had a great appeal,” explained Claire.


“Ultimately, we’re hoping to co-create (with deafblind children and young people) an intervention which will raise awareness of deafblindness amongst teachers and peers.”


The resource will support teachers, parents and students to support academic and social success and complement Deafblind UK’s existing ‘lesson in a box’, which is designed to help all students understand more about the impact of sensory loss in others. 


Deafblind UK launched a ‘Lesson in a Box’ last year as a resource for teachers to help students (and other staff) understand deafblindness (pictured above). It includes assembly and lesson notes that relate to the national curriculum and has been distributed to over 1600 schools to date.


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