Deaf children

Deaf children have a heightened sense of the visual and will concentrate better when they are engaged in looking for things in story pages – pointing out the characters, animals and scenes they recognise while you’re telling the story.

You’ll see in some stories that we’ve added extra subtitles in red to enhance the story and bring the pictures to life. For example, in Noah’s Ark we make reference to the food and animals in the ark. In Owl Babies we make observations on how dark and scary the woods are. And in Chimp and Zee we answer some of the questions posed in the text.

This is common in storytelling with British Sign Language. It’s good to ask your own questions and make your own observations when reading stories with children.

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Hearing children with deaf parents

Teachers also need to be aware of the unique challenges facing hearing children who have deaf parents. The communication system they use at home may be different to how they communicate with teachers and friends at school.

Adapt homework so deaf parents can take part – use visual material wherever possible. See our resources section for printable BSL resources.

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British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD)

In the UK, BATOD deals with all professional aspects of the education of deaf children and their teachers, and advises government and national bodies.

It carries out research into deaf children and can help with dissertations, information on careers with deaf children and training to be a Teacher of the Deaf.

Teachers of the Deaf, educational support workers and anyone with an interest in the education of deaf
children can join BATOD. We strongly advise you to link into their expertise.

The BATOD website hosts a wealth of interesting teaching materials, including articles, surveys and research papers from the UK and around the world.  It is regularly updated. There is a useful selection of frequently asked questions and details of upcoming conferences.

What teachers are saying about Signed Stories on BATOD forums:

“For those of you working in BSL settings or some total comm. situations, this is a great site with deaf people signing stories – from toddler stories to scary tales!”


“It comes highly recommended from my families/staff.”

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