At St John’s, the promotion of speaking and listening skills is integral to our teaching approach. For hearing impaired children, this means providing the best possible access to high quality amplification. We recognise the commitment our pupils’ families have made to use hearing aids or cochlear implants and the important role of this technology in supporting speech and language development.
St John’s has its own audiology department that is equipped with the latest audiometric facilities, enabling our audiologist to monitor each pupil’s auditory capabilities. Our audiologist has a background in clinical audiology and is also an educational audiologist so can apply an educational understanding to her clinical knowledge.
Achieving maximum benefit from hearing aids and cochlear implants extends much further than simply fitting suitable devices; our audiologist regularly completes a range of tests with each student to assess exactly what they can hear. Audiological assessments are shared with parents and individual audiology centres to provide a seamless service. Being in school every day means that our audiologist can observe pupils in a range of listening environments and immediately feedback information if any changes to hearing aids or speech processors are recommended.
When required, our audiologist will make adjustments to pupils’ hearing instruments and supply replacements for faulty aids from school stock. We also take earmould impressions and contact implant centres to fast-track the replacement of cochlear implants. This means pupils have the maximum possible learning time with good amplification.
The school audiologist is an important source of advice to parents, pupils, teachers and support staff. She trains school staff in fault finding techniques so that, even if problems arise during the evening when she is not at school, hearing aids and implant components can be replaced by the residential staff.
When students receive new implants or aids, our audiologist works with teachers and other staff to help pupils adjust to new auditory signals and she also monitors the students’ listening skills.
Her work with the school nurse and speech and language therapists ensures that all our children have optimum opportunity to use their residual hearing, which then translates into improved communication skills.
As well as testing pupils and maintaining amplification systems, the school audiologist has an important role in ensuring good listening conditions throughout the whole school environment. She monitors the acoustics of all our teaching areas and ensures the digital sound field systems installed in our classrooms maximise pupils’ ability to hear their teachers and each other.
Our audiologist is a vital member of the St John’s team, her work is integral in promoting “an environment where every voice is heard and celebrated”.