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28th March 2014 at 00:00

Sharing opportunities for deaf students

"Striving to be heard in a world without sound" (News focus, 14 March) raised serious concerns about the quality of provision for deaf students in Scottish colleges. While the different model of funding for students on non-advanced courses can make it difficult to implement specialised support speedily, another challenge for the sector - as noted in the article - has been the impact of regionalisation.

NATED Scotland (National Association for Tertiary Education for Deaf People) believes that regionalisation presents opportunities as well as challenges. Previously, it was unrealistic for all but the largest colleges to employ a qualified member of staff with a dedicated remit to manage support for deaf students. Now, we suggest that each regional college identifies such a person to fulfil that role in their institution. To help, we have created a draft job description which acknowledges the diverse skills required and the NATED Scotland committee is available to meet with any college to discuss this proposal.

Staff development and sharing of good practice is essential to improving services. We welcome anyone concerned about provision for deaf students in their college to attend the free conference we are offering in partnership with the BRITE Initiative on 30 May in Edinburgh. As well as discovering and evaluating a range of support strategies, attendees will also find out about the help we can offer to ensure that all deaf students are able to access learning.

Visit the conference website to find out more and to book a free place.

Kellie Mote

On behalf of the NATED Scotland committee

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