BATOD Where Every Deaf Child Matters
It has been quite a while since the last time PC Werth was at BATOD (British Association of Teachers of the Deaf) conference. However, the highest time came to get some fresh air coming from the highlands, change a suit and bowler for kilts and visit old friends up north of the country since BATOD conference takes place in Scotland.
BATOD it is a well-established organisation heading back late 70’. Its main purpose is to become a voice of deaf children, their parents and educational professionals such as teachers of the deaf (TOD), educational audiologists, and learning support assistants in the United Kingdom. In order to develop the professional expertise of association members, BATOD continuously enhance the high quality mandatory training of teachers of the deaf and associated professionals, and provides support for people working with deaf children through regular conferences and workshops around the whole country.
All pupils have the right to mainstream education
The reason for such a shift in approach to children with special educational needs (SEN) was due to changes taking place in European Community, which emphasised the importance of inclusion of every child into the mainstream education.
Down from Salamanca Conference (Spain), the European countries started to adapt and implement the new policy, which in 2001 took a form of The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act. The Act strengthened the rights of parents to decide whether their children should join mainstream education or not, therefore transforming the statutory framework for inclusion into a positive endorsement of inclusion.
Since then governors have been seeking ways of implementing the policy and making all possible effort that the schools themselves and teaching staff should be prepared for such inclusion. That should come down not only to proper and constant training of the staff – special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) and teachers of the deaf (TODs), but also classroom equipment and facilities.
Soundfield System and Acoustic for better hearing and learning
That is why companies such as PC Werth specialise in delivering Soundfield systems to classrooms to facilitate teaching process and make inclusion possible not only of children with special educational needs, but also any child prone to exclusion due to poor sound transmission in noisy classroom environment. If you want to have unbiased opinion on whether your school should go for such solutions you should familiarise yourself with BATOD’s guide on Soundfield system where you can also read: “Deaf children experience difficulties in learning spaces with excessive noise and reverberation levels”.
Another solution might be PA systems or premium Hall Amplification systems which give you professional, robust and easy-to-use equipment that will transform productions, performances, assemblies or meetings in larger spaces.
Apart from implementing a proper Soundfield or PA systems in teaching deaf children or children with hearing difficulties, PC Werth and BATOD advocate implementation of proper acoustic solutions to noisy classrooms, corridors, halls and canteens. We read on BATOD’s website: “Acoustic conditions in schools are vital to a good listening and learning environment”. More importantly, addressing the reverberation and resulting problems need not be complex or expensive.
The BATOD Conference
This year’s BATOD conference takes place on 14th March 2015 and we are very pleased that PC Werth is a Gold Sponsor (we need to make up for the absence years after all). We are hoping to see lots of old friends and professionals.
We will also attend the speech of the only professor of deaf education in the UK and the first female to hold this position, Dr Wendy McCracken from University of Manchester (Education of Deaf). The tile “Supporting Deaf Children in the 21st century” speaks for itself. As the professor we also believe in the rights of every deaf child to achieve and that is why we are advocating for the right care and equipment of every school and classroom which should go hand-in-hand with the proper and continuous training of the ToDs, SENCOs, support staff and school authorities to make sure there are sufficient funding.