Claire Sorfleet, the Consultant DSA Assessor, describes how terptree was able to provide additional specialist advice for a specific HI Assessment:
I’ve enjoyed the role of Consultant DSA Assessor for many years now. As part of my on-going training, it is good practice to observe other assessors conducting assessments for the hearing impaired. But, as there are so few in comparison to other disabilities, and with the usual time restraints of a busy role, this is not always as regular as would be ideal for development.
I was recently asked to carry out an assessment for a student who is profoundly deaf, and whilst I looked forward to addressing this student’s needs, I wanted to ensure that I used all the knowledge I had, plus look for as much external expertise to support this student as well as possible.
I knew from experience that it was likely I would be recommending specialist study skills support (HI) and a note-taker for this particular student. So, I started to explore these options before the assessment took place in terms of finding a supplier who could commit to this level of support.
I remembered that a few weeks before this, terptree had promoted an offer of free training. So I took this opportunity to expand my knowledge further and signed up. It then occurred to me they would be the ideal people to talk through my plans for the assessment. I would be able to get some honest feedback and advice as to whether I had indeed considered every option to ensure the student would get the right level of support from the outset.
I called them, and it was Victoria I spoke to. The first thing I have to say is; she was wonderful! She’s so supportive and instils such confidence. She was the ideal person to speak to about something so important. I really wanted to ensure I was providing the very best assessment for this new student and Victoria gave me the reassurance that I would be doing just that.
We discussed every possible scenario, including consideration of body language so the student would feel at ease from the outset. We also discussed a seating arrangement that would allow the student to see my face fully, and to lip-read at all times.
The student attended the meeting with her mother, and as she had lost her hearing completely only four years previously, speech wasn’t a problem for her. It was clear from the outset that she had developed good lip reading skills, and I took Victoria’s advice to always face the student when talking to her. Also, to make sure the seating was positioned in a triad format to ensure she would be able to see my face clearly to lip-read.
In fact, I was able to put in place all of Victoria’s expert advice that she gave during our phone call – and it all worked perfectly. Alongside the knowledge I already had, Victoria gave me the tools to provide an excellent, well-informed assessment in which the student felt welcome and able to discuss her study-related needs easily and comfortably.
This meant the student was able to leave the assessment very happy in the knowledge that all her needs would be met and the right plans had been put in place. The feedback from both the student and her mother was very complimentary. The entire process is one that will stay with me as a very positive experience.
Due to location, terptree has been unable to provide the on-going one-to-one high-level support for this particular student. And they were honest from the start that this would be the case. However, despite knowing the work with the student couldn’t be awarded to them, it didn’t impact on the level of advice they gave to conduct the assessment successfully.
I absolutely recommend terptree. They are honest, supportive and extremely well-informed. I was blown away by the generous, expert advice Victoria gave.
Going forward, thanks to terptree’s insight, I’m confided in my ability to deliver a well-informed assessment to address the needs required of students with a hearing impairment. I’m delighted I now have terptree as a contact that can provide clarity and additional expertise in this area.