Roles Of ProfessionalsRoles Of Professionals

Audio logical Scientist (Audiologist) work to diagnose hearing problems in children and adults, and to address hearing loss by the prescribing and fitting of hearing aids and other assistive technologies.

Audiologists work in both community and hospital settings. Referral to the audiology department is usually through the Public Health Nurse or your GP.

Speech Therapist

Speech and Language Therapists can be involved with children who have any degree of hearing loss, congenital or acquired. They work with the child and parents (and others in the child’s environment) to promote the development of communication. They are usually are located in local community clinics. The

Speech Therapist would carry out an assessment in conjunction with the child, family members and other relevant professionals. They would need information on the degree of hearing loss, date of onset, information as to whether the child is using hearing aids or cochlear implants and current mode of communication.

Following the assessment the Speech Therapist will devise an Individual Therapy Plan in conjunction with the parents and relevant professionals. It will include the development of play skills, listening skills, turn-taking, and work on comprehension. The therapist will work with the parents enabling you to follow the therapy programmes. They also work with playschool/school personnel as appropriate.

Visiting Teacher for the Deaf

The Visiting Teacher Service for Children with Hearing Loss is provided by the Department of Education & Science from the time of referral through to third level education. Currently, the service is managed by the Directorate of Regional Services, Department of Education & Science.

Each Visiting Teacher is responsible for a particular region and is allocated a caseload of pupils. The Visiting Teacher supports the children, parents/guardians, teachers and other professionals involved with the child. The nature and frequency of visits will depend on a range of factors, including the age of the child, severity of hearing loss, educational placement and individual learning needs. The service is available at pre-school, primary, post primary and third level. Referral can be made through the audiology services and other professionals.

The Visiting Teacher visits your home and supports the family, provides information about hearing loss and advises on the management of amplification devices (hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM systems, etc.) and the satisfactory development of communication skills. These include spoken language skills and/or sign language. Home visits take place by mutual agreement. In addition, the Visiting Teacher discusses with parents the range of educational options available and makes recommendations regarding appropriate placement. The involvement of the Visiting Teacher continues throughout the education of a child with a hearing loss. At present, the majority of children with a hearing loss are enrolled in the mainstream school system. At this level, the Visiting Teacher continues to visit the children at home and at school, providing advice and guidance on the education of the child.

Social Worker for the Deaf’s Family Support Service is staffed by professionally qualified Social Workers. The Social Workers for the Deaf provide a strictly confidential service to all Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and their families. The service is free of charge and is provided through the communication choice of the service-user. It includes support and counselling, information on deafness, education, employment and other services. The Social Worker for the Deaf also provides support and information to families with Deaf children from the time of diagnosis right throughout childhood. Information includes factsheets on child development, communication options, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and parenting tips, which are all available to download in Parents Corner on the website @ The overall aim of the Family Support Service is to enable deaf people of all ages to participate fully in all areas of life and to support families in developing good relationships and communication.


ParParents Corner is a section on DeafHear’s website dedicated to providing information and support to parents...


Further information:

For further information on assistive technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, contact your local Resource Centre.


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more...1-2 children per thousand are born with a hearing loss.


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