Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT)
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Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT)

What does the service do?

The Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT) is a team of specialist staff, including teachers, communication support workers and deaf instructors, who work to promote the educational inclusion and achievement of children and young people with a diagnosed hearing loss.

We support deaf or hearing impaired children from the time of diagnosis to when they leave school or further education. The team works with children in their homes, early years settings, local schools, or further education settings. We conduct assessments and provide advice and training to ensure that families and staff in settings have the knowledge and skills to support the development and achievement of their child or young person. We also provide direct support and teaching to the child or young person as required.

The level of support offered to each child and family is based on the child’s needs in relation to their deafness, their stage of development and the knowledge and support that they have around them. Some children will require support on a weekly (or more) basis for many years while others will be seen far less frequently or only on request from the school or parents.


Who is the service for?

We work with deaf and hearing impaired children both with and without additional special educational needs and disabilities. We work with children who are Multi-Sensory Impaired (MSI) or deafblind i.e. they have an impairment of both hearing and vision.

The service is available to support all children with a diagnosed permanent hearing loss. This does not include children with temporary hearing problems such as glue ear.


How can I start using the service?

Referrals to DAHIT come from Health services at the time of diagnosis. As a parent or carer you will be asked for your consent to this referral to receive support from DAHIT. A teacher of the deaf or other specialist in the team will then contact you as soon as possible.

If you are a parent or carer of a child moving into Leeds who already has a diagnosis of a hearing impairment you can contact us directly on 0113 378 5296 or email us.


SignVideo BSL Live

To make it easier for Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users to access Council services, we have teamed up with SignVideo to provide SignVideo Web Access Points​ at some of our One Stop Centres and SignVideo Web Access to enable people to use this service from their own home.


Organisations who work to support people with sensory impairments

Action for Blind People: clubs for children

Leeds Deaf Children's Society group

National Deaf Children's Society

RNIB - Supporting people with sight loss

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Click to expandWhat happens when my child is diagnosed with a hearing loss?

The health service will tell DAHIT (with your permission).  A teacher of the deaf will then contact you to help you to understand your child’s needs and what you can do to help your child develop good communication, language and learning skills.  The teacher of the deaf will work with you and your child and help you to make informed choices regarding the best way to communicate with your child.  They will also help you in the use of any hearing aids that have been fitted by the clinic.  Where appropriate you will get support from the service to learn how to sign with your child.

Click to expandWhat happens when my child goes to nursery or school?

We will assist the school and your child by providing:
-Assessment of your child’s communication and educational needs
-Advice on appropriate ways to teach and make the curriculum accessible
-Training and support to enable your child to be fully included in the school and make good progress
-Direct support and teaching for those children who require this specialist input
-Advice and support to promote children’s independence and positive self-image
-Advice and training in the use of specialist equipment and resources 

To achieve our aims we work in partnership with families and a range of professionals from educational settings and services, health care, social care and voluntary organisations.  ​​​​

Click to expandWhat help is there if my child has the most severe or profound deafness?

While most deaf and hearing impaired children attend their local mainstream school with the peripatetic (visiting) support of DAHIT , the team also operates three specialist resourced provisions within mainstream schools.  

These provisions are for those children with the most severe or profound deafness who because of their deafness require intensive specialist intervention, teaching and support in order to make good progress in learning.  

The provisions are at Shakespeare Primary Scholl (nursery provision), Moor Allerton Hall Primary School and Allerton Grange Secondary School.  Children in these provisions can learn through British Sign Language, spoken English or a mixture of the two.

Click to expandHow can my child get a radio aid or other auxiliary equipment?

​Radio aids and soundfield systems can help children who use hearing aids to hear specific speakers, e.g. a teacher or a parent, more clearly.  If a child could benefit from a radio aid the teacher of the deaf working with him/her will arrange for an assessment to be carried out by an educational audiologist within the Sensory Service.  Following the assessment, and a possible trial period, the educational audiologist will make a recommendation as to whether or not a radio aid would be helpful.  If the educational audiologist believes that it would be helpful then a radio aid would be purchased for the child.  If a child is in a school the aid would most likely be jointly funded between the school and the Local Authority.  For pre-school children the local authority would purchase this. 

When other specialist equipment is needed to support your child in the home environment you can contact DALES who will make an initial assessment and provide equipment as appropriate.

Adults and childrens' specialist equipment

Click to expandCan my child have support from a speech and language therapist?

When your baby or child is diagnosed with a hearing loss they are referred, with your consent, to the Specialist Speech and Language Therapy service for deaf and hearing impaired children. An assessment will be made by the specialist therapist and a programme of support and intervention can be provided as appropriate.   

Childrens' speech and language therapy service

Click to expandWhat specialist skills and training do the staff supporting the children have?

All staff are specialists in their specific field of deaf education.  They receive frequent training to ensure that their knowledge and skills are up to date.  The team employs a number of different specialist staff:

-Teachers of the deaf are qualified teachers who have done an additional qualification (diploma or master degree) in deaf education.
-Communication Support Workers (CSWs) are skilled in working in British Sign Language (BSL) and English. They work with children in schools and early years settings to ensure they can communicate with school staff and their classmates. This will usually include the use of (BSL) Sign Supported English (SSE), and spoken and written English.  
-Deaf Instructors are specialist staff who use BSL as their first language and can provide teaching and support (including role models) to children, families and schools. They can teach BSL to deaf children, groups of hearing children and to families. They also provide teaching for the mainstream curriculum as well as personal and social education programmes focused on deaf learners (deaf studies).  ​

Click to expandIs the service free?

DAHIT does not charge parents for the services we provide.  All services are also free to all early years settings and state funded schools.  We do however charge post 16 colleges and independent schools for services other than those required to produce advice for statutory assessment and annual reviews.

Click to expandWho can I contact for further information?

If you want to know more about the service offered or discuss whether your child requires support from DAHIT please call on 0113 378 5346 or email us using the Contact us section on this page.

You can also write to Tony Bowyer, Sensory Service Lead,  Adam’s Court, Kildare Terrace, Leeds, LS12 1DB.
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